India is a land of diverse cultures and religions; here, we celebrate so many different cultures throughout the year. India is very famous for its traditional culture all over the world, and today I will be telling you about the Tamil-culture festival which is-Thaipusam.
What is Thaipusam?
Thaipusam Festival is a Tamil community-oriented festival, and usually, it is celebrated in the month of cold months(January and February). On this day, they worship Kartikeya, also known as Murugan, in our county’s southern part.
How did the Thaipusam celebration start?
When Indians migrated to Malaysia in the 17th century to get employed under Malaysian rubber estates and government offices, they decided to celebrate this festival. It was first celebrated in Batu caves in 1888, and with time, it became an important traditional culture for migrated Indians-Tamils and an important religious identity for them. Now it is the most significant Hindu public display in the country.
How do they prepare for Thaipusam Festival?
It’s a very special and auspicious day for all Tamils. They wait for an entire year for this day. Before the festival’s day itself, there is an early morning chariot procession. After that, they paint silver color on carved woods for worship and contain a statue of Lord Murugan, making its way to the Batu caves where they stay for a short term period.
How they Worship Lord Murugan on Thaipusam?
On that day, devotees approach the wooden chariot and the lord Murugan statue, and they prepare a bowl full of fruits with themselves in respect of lords and many children’s and even small infants also comes with their mother so that Lord Murugan can bless their children. Everyone celebrate this day by listening to good, holy music on that day, and many organizations also invite great musicians and drummers on that day to celebrate this day nicely.
Tamil women also wear jubilant white jasmine on their heads and wear yellow and orange colors because these colors dominate Lord Murugan.
Thaipusam celebrations across the globe
Thaipusam celebration in Singapore-
The Hindu community celebrates this festival in a very happy way. Hindu devotees walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple(SSTP) To Sri Thendayuthapani Temple (STT) With a distance of approx. 4 km.
Thaipusam celebration in Malaysia
In Malaysia, it is celebrated in the month of January, February on the full moon. According to the Hindu calendar, on that day, the government declares it as a public holiday to celebrate it nicely.
According to their website, they stated that over 10,000 tourists visit Batu Caves to celebrate Thaipusam.
Many food stalls are being set up near Batu caves as well as many religious items are also being sold on that day, and for children, the organization has also constructed amusement parks there.
Interesting Facts about Thaipusam
There is a point there, known as ‘press area’ where the tourist can click close up photographs and videos of devotees waiting for the stairs up to the cave.
Thaipusam Festival Rituals -The Kavadi Attam(Burden Dance)
On that day, worshipers who pierced their face and body with swords, skewers, and hooks; also sometimes walk on burning coals. These indicate the burden carried by them. The largest of the burden is known as vel kavadi, which requires the person carrying it to be 108 small spears.
Sometimes it becomes so heavy that another person has to assist. Those who pierce their tongues, cheeks, face with sharp objects report feeling very little pain and are also told that it immediately heals and doesn’t produce scars. They do it because it is a symbolic gesture of volunteers giving up speech.
About Lord Murugan
Lord Murugan is also known as Kartikeya, Skanda, Kumara. He is also known as the Hindu god of war. He is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati and brother of Lord Ganesha. According to the archaeologist, they also found as god Agni(fire)
Lord Murugan is represented as a youthful man riding or near peacock dressed with weapons. Most of them show with one head, but some show them with six head reflecting the legend surroundings. He grows very quickly and destroys evil in the form of the demon Taraka, and also, they teach the pursuit of ethical life and theology of Shavia Siddharta. Many famous poet-saints are also inspired by them, which were Arunagirinathar.
The majority of Tamils worship Lord Murugan, and particularly we can find their temples in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia.
Famous temples of Lord Murugan
1 Sri Subramanya Swami Temple
This temple is dedicated to Sri Murugan along and with his consorts Vallinayaki and Deivanayski. It is 10km far from the city, and the best month to visit this temple is in the month of November to February.
Temple timings- 6:00am to 8:00pm
Nearest railway station- Saidapetrailway station
This temple is 40 years old, and each story has a lot of idols, and the structure of the temple itself is a hillock. It is 26km from the city, and the best month to visit this temple is in the month of November to February.
Temple timings- 6.30 to 11; 4.30 to 8.30
Nearest railway station- Chennai central railway.
3. Thiruporurkanaswamy Temple
This temple is dedicated to the legend Murugan fought with demons at three places at sea, land, and air and conquered land. The best time to visit this temple is in the month of May to June.