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Thaipusam
Thaipusam
or Thaipoosam (Tamil: தைப்பூசம், Taippūcam ?) is a festival celebrated by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia,[1] Mauritius[2] Singapore,[3] South Africa
South Africa
and other places where ethnic Hindu
Hindu
Tamils reside as a part of the local Indian diaspora population such as Réunion, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica
Jamaica
and the other parts of the Caribbean. It is a national holiday in many countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius
Mauritius
and Fiji. In Singapore, it was a national holiday once but it was removed from Singapore
Singapore
holidays. Note: In Fiji, Thaipusam
Thaipusam
is not officially declared as a national holiday, while in certain states of Malaysia
Malaysia
and in the nations of Sri Lanka and Mauritius
Mauritius
it is a government and a bank holiday. The word Thaipusam
Thaipusam
is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati
Parvati
gave Murugan
Murugan
a Vel
Vel
"spear" so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. It is commonly believed that Thaipusam
Thaipusam
marks Murugan's birthday; Some other sources suggest that Vaikhasi Vishakam, which falls in the Vaikhasi month (May/June), is Murugan's birthday.[4]

Contents

1 Origin 2 Kavadi
Kavadi
Attam 3 Thaipusam
Thaipusam
in India 4 Traditions 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Origin[edit] This festival was, according to one tradition, said to have been supposedly created during one of the battles between the Asuras
Asuras
(or to be more specific Soorapadman) and the Devas. At one point, the latter were defeated several times by the former. The Devas were unable to resist the onslaught of the Asura forces. In despair, they approached Shiva
Shiva
and entreated to give them an able leader under whose heroic leadership they might obtain victory over the Asuras. They surrendered themselves completely and prayed to Shiva. Shiva
Shiva
granted their request by creating the mighty warrior, Skanda, out of his own power or Achintya Shakti. He at once assumed leadership of the celestial forces, inspired them and defeated the Asura forces and to recognise that day the people created the festival, Thaipusam. According to Skanda Puranam, the legend of Murugan, and Thirupugal which are divine verses on Murugan, adhere to Shaivam principles. Murugan
Murugan
is the embodiment of Shiva's light and wisdom and devotees pray to him to overcome the obstacles they face, as He is the divine vanquisher of evil. The motive of Thaipusam
Thaipusam
festival is to pray to God to receive his grace so that bad traits are destroyed.[5]

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Kavadi
Kavadi
Attam[edit] The Kavadi Attam
Kavadi Attam
("Burden Dance", also written as cavadee) is the ceremonial sacrifice and offering performed by devotees during the worship of Murugan.[6] It is often performed during the festival of Thaipusam
Thaipusam
and emphasizes debt bondage. The Kavadi
Kavadi
itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from Murugan.[7] Devotees prepare for the celebration by cleansing themselves through prayer and fasting for 48 days before Thaipusam. Kavadi-bearers have to perform elaborate ceremonies at the time of assuming the kavadi and at the time of offering it to Murugan. The kavadi-bearer observes celibacy and consumes only certain types of foods known as Satvik food, once a day, while continuously thinking of God. On the day of the festival, devotees shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route, while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). At its simplest, this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common. The simplest kavadi is a semicircular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders to the temple. In addition, some have a small spear through their tongue, or a spear through the cheeks.".[8] A similar practice is performed by the Nagarathar community in Pazhani, India. This is known as the Nagarathar Kavadi. Thaipusam
Thaipusam
in India[edit] In Palani Sri Dhandayuthapani temple, 10 day Festival (Brahmotsavam) is held during ThaiPusam. Thirukalyanam (Celestial Wedding) will be held on the day before Thaipusam. On Thaipusam, Therottam will be held. Lord Muthukumaraswamy will bless devotees in Thanga Guthirai Vahanam (Golden Horse), Periya Thanga Mayil Vahanam (Golden Peacock, Theppotsavam (Float Festival) during the 10 day festival In Chidamabaram (Thillai) Panchamurthi Veedhi Ula, Thirthavari, Thaandava Darsanam Aarthi will be held on Thai Poosam. In Madurai Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Theppotsavam (Float Festival) will be held at Mariammam Theppa Kulam. In Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple, 3 Day Theppotsavam will be held during ThaiPusam Pournami.[9] At the Linga Bhairavi
Linga Bhairavi
temple in Coimbatore, devotees participate in a 21-day Shivanga sadhana, which ends on Thaipusam
Thaipusam
at the temple. Women offer kudam or pots of plants, grain and fruit, which they carry on their heads over a certain distance.[10] Traditions[edit] Outside India, Thaipusam
Thaipusam
celebrations take place in USA, Mauritius, Malaysia
Malaysia
and Singapore.[11] It is a public holiday in several states in Malaysia. In Malaysia, the temple at Batu Caves, near Kuala Lumpur & Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang
Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang
near George Town, Penang & Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple, Penang
Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple, Penang
and Ipoh Kallumalai,Perak, often attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists.[12] In Singapore, Hindu
Hindu
devotees start their procession at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in the early morning, carrying milk pots as offerings or attaching "kavadis" and spikes pierced on their body.[13] The procession travels for 4 kilometres before finishing at Tank Road, Sri Thendayuthapani Temple.[14][15][16] In Indonesia, the procession mainly held in the capital of North Sumatra province, Medan. On the eve of Thaipusam, the Hindus gathered together at Sree Soepramaniem Nagarattar Temple at Kejaksaan Road to accompanying a 125 years old chariot or locally known as Radhoo from the temple to the main temple nearby (about 2-3km) at Sri Mariamman Temple at Kampung Madras
Kampung Madras
which opening for 24-hours for the festival. The kavadi procession are also happening at the day, but it takes on different temples around Medan
Medan
and other parts in the province depends on them celebrate it. In the United States of America, the Shiva
Shiva
Murugan
Murugan
Temple in Concord, California celebrates the Thaipoosam preceded by a walk. Some people walk more than 46 miles from the city of Fremont, some walk 21 miles from the city of San Ramon to Concord, and most walk 7 miles from Walden Park in Walnut Creek to Concord. Over 2000 people participated in the walk for last several years.[citation needed]

Devotees carry 'paal kudam' offerings at Thaipusam
Thaipusam
festival

Batu Caves, Malaysia
Malaysia
during Thai Pusam 1985

Thaipusam
Thaipusam
in Mauritius

Thaipusam
Thaipusam
procession in Singapore

Silver chariot procession on Thaipusam
Thaipusam
eve in Penang, Malaysia

Penang thaipusam kavadi procession

See also[edit]

Hinduism
Hinduism
in Southeast Asia Hinduism
Hinduism
in Malaysia
Malaysia
and Singapore Indians in Malaysia
Malaysia
and Singapore Thai Poosam Kavady

References[edit]

^ "Malaysia : AllMalaysia.info has all you want to know about Malaysia". Allmalaysia.info. Retrieved 6 January 2011.  ^ "Festivals, Cultural Events and Public Holidays in Mauritius". Mauritius
Mauritius
Tourism Authority. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.  ^ Thaipusam
Thaipusam
in Singapore. ^ "Vaikasi Visakam and Lord Murukan LALALALA". Murugan.org. Retrieved 6 January 2011.  ^ Significance of Thaipusam
Thaipusam
Archived 13 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine., OmTamil published 15 October 2012 ^ Kent, Alexandra. Divinity and Diversity: A Hindu
Hindu
Revitalization Movement in Malaysia. University of Hawaii Press, 2005. (ISBN 8791114896) ^ Hume, Lynne. Portals. ^ Palani Thai Pusam, accessed 5 December 2006 ^ K, Kandaswamy. " Thaipusam
Thaipusam
in Palani, Tamil Nadu (India)". Live Trend. K Kandaswamy. Retrieved 23 November 2017.  ^ "Thai Poosam celebrated with fervor". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 December 2017.  ^ Thaipusam
Thaipusam
celebrations in South East Asia. ^ 1.3 million mark Thaipusam
Thaipusam
– Star newspaper. Archived 3 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Loh, Larry (2 February 2010). " Thaipusam
Thaipusam
2010: Faith, ritual and body piercings". CNNGo.com. Retrieved 6 January 2011.  ^ " Thaipusam
Thaipusam
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Singapore, Singapore". Whatsonwhen. 24 November 2010. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011.  ^ Cheney S (8 February 2009). "8,000 Hindu
Hindu
devotees take part in Thaipusam
Thaipusam
festival". Channel News Asia.  ^ (1996) Pancorbo, Luis: "Los picados de Thaipusam" en "Fiestas del Mundo. Las máscaras de la Luna". pp. 85–93. Ediciones del Serbal. Barcelona. ISBN 84-7628-168-4

External links[edit]

Thaipusam
Thaipusam
date calculator As the date of Thaipusam
Thaipusam
is determined based on the position of the Sun and the Moon the date varies slightly depending on where you are. When using this link check the city that the web site is calculating for and adjust it if needed.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thaipusam.

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