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Indian Festivals in Malaysia

Discussion in 'Indians in Malaysia' started by sonu_627, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. sonu_627

    sonu_627 Silver IL'ite

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    Thaipusam Celebration


    Thaipusam signifies the day the Hindu Goddess Parvati bestowed upon her son, Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Muruga), the “vel” or lance to destroy the evil demon, Soorapadam. The lance denotes spiritual insight, the ability to differentiate right from wrong, righteousness and steadfastness.

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    Hindus of Malaysia celebrate Thaipusam annually on the tenth month of the Hindu Calendar, the month of Thai. It coincides with the full moon at the end of January and beginning of February. Thaipusam is made up of two words, 'Thai' is the name of the Hindu month which falls between January 15 to February 15 and 'Pusam' refers to the name of the star that is the brightest during the period of this festival. The best way to experience the festival is to go out to Batu Caves on the 11th of February 2006.

    Before the event, Hindus prepare themselves by fasting, praying and observing austerities and in KL, it culminates in a three-day festival. On the eve of Thaipusam, a 5-tonne silver chariot bearing Lord Subramaniam’s image leaves the Sri Mahamariaman Temple at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in Chinatown on its way to Batu Caves.

    The 8-hour journey of the chariot takes it through KL and covers nearly 15 kilometres. The procession that starts as early as 3.30am in the morning has several thousand devotees, some breaking coconuts and offering prayers at various stops made by the chariot.

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    Until the year 2000, the chariot was pulled by up to six pairs of bulls. But now it’s pulled by a motorised vehicle. Tourists from all over the world forego their sleep to witness this procession.

    One of Thaipusam’s main features is the carrying of kavadis, the kavadi is a simple frame of varying sizes decorated with coloured papers, tinsels, peacock plumes, milk or honey pots, fresh flowers or fruits. The carrying of a kavadi fulfills a vow made by the devotee to the Almighty. The kavadi bearers will climb the 272 steps that lead to the entrance of the great Batu Cave and their final destination, to the deity himself, Lord Subramaniam.

    Three days before the festival, the grounds of Batu Caves are transformed into a colourful land with shops selling prayer items, clothes, silverware, delicious snacks, the latest Bollywood music and movie CDs, Indian accessories and various other knick knacks.

    On the grand day, amidst the fun fair, you can witness the devotees and penitents carrying their kavadis or milk pots whilst some engage in more severe penance by piercing their cheeks, tongues or back with skewers or mini spears. These devotees are usually in a state of trance and don’t feel any pain. The next day they will return to their ordinary lives, cleansed.

    Observers are welcome to watch the event. This year Thaipusam will fall on the 11th of February, a Saturday, and it is expected to attract more than a million people. The day will be filled with spectacular kavadis bearing the images of various deities accompanied by infectious drumbeats and holy chants of the Lord’s name. Thaipusam is a day of atonement and an astonishing display of faith that you will not want to miss. KL



    AT A GLANCE
    Thaipusam
    When: February 11
    Where: Sri Mahamariaman Temple, Jalan Tun H S Lee to Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
    Tel: 03 2615 1888
     
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  2. devs_21

    devs_21 New IL'ite

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    Batu Caves

    Thaipusam in Batu Caves (From far away we can see Lord Murugan) This year the celebration is more grand because it fall on Saturday and alot of them wants to see Lord Murugan..



    [​IMG] They came by the thousands on a journey of faith culminating at the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur. By today, some 1.3 million people would have visited the temple. - STARpic by KAMAL SELLEHUDDIN
    KUALA LUMPUR: Muddy grounds and puddles of water caused by heavy rain a day earlier failed to dampen the spirits of thousands who thronged to Batu Caves here yesterday.

    Splashing through, the undeterred devotees carried kavadi and milk pots, making their way up the 272 steps to the cave temple to fulfil their vows to Lord Murugan.

    The cloudy sky during Thaipusam yesterday, which was unlike in previous years when the sun shone brightly, provided a cooler atmosphere for those present.

    The number of people who converged at Batu Caves was also much bigger this year, thanks to a 42.7m-high statue of Lord Murugan at the front of the temple.

    The RM2.5mil statue which took artisan and sculptor R. Thiyagarajan three years to complete is believed to be the tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world. Since it was officially inaugurated on Jan 29, scores of local and foreign tourists have been visiting Batu Caves to get a glimpse of the magnificent statue.

    Polish tourists Chris Zolunek and his wife Margaret, were among the foreign visitors who were intrigued by the giant structure.

    “I have not seen anything like this and it is simply amazing. We heard about the Thaipusam celebrations and we wanted to coincide our visit to Malaysia with the festivity,” said Chris.

    “The climb was worth the trouble. Although I did not get to see much in the cave temple because of the huge crowd inside, the view from the top of the temple however was spectacular,” added Margaret.

    While the festival is a religious event, it had a carnival-like atmosphere with stalls nearby trying to outdo each other in selling movies and non-religious CDs.

    Canadians John and Katie Stark were simply mesmerised because events and celebrations in their homeland are not celebrated on such a scale and where there is a multitude of people of different races and religion coming together.

    “We love it here. Glad we chose to come to Malaysia during this season. My wife and I are frequent travellers. We may be here the same time next year,” said John.

    In IPOH, thousands of Hindu devotees thronged the Gunung Cheroh Sri Subramaniar Temple in Jalan Musa Aziz to pay homage to Lord Murugan.

    [​IMG] British tourists Aidan Griffin, 26, and Clare Evans, 22, admiring the beautiful designs of a kavadiat the Thaipusam celebration in Penang. — STARpic by GOH GAIK LEE
    A morning drizzle failed to deter people from turning up, some barefooted, to pray at the temple.

    After prayers, some devotees were seen leaving the temple grounds bald and covered in sandalwood.

    About 500 men carried kavadi decorated with peacock feathers, garlands and pictures of deities while many women carried milk pots.

    In JOHOR BARU, hundreds of Hindus showed their devotion and faith by carrying milk pots and kavadi in a 2km procession here.

    The devotees gathered as early as 7am at the Sri Muniswarar temple in Tampoi to join in the procession.

    In PENANG, some 500,000 Hindu devotees and visitors, including foreigners, trekked up the Waterfall Hilltop temple for Thaipusam.

    The devotees carrying milk pots and walking barefooted had earlier followed a silver chariot bearing the statue of Lord Murugan to the Nattukottai Chettiar temple in Kebun Bunga to fulfil their vows. The chariot will make its return journey from the Waterfall Hilltop to Kovil Veedu in Penang Street at 6pm today and is expected to arrive at 6am the next morning.

    devi
     
  3. mouny

    mouny New IL'ite

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    Good to know about it..
     

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