Published: Sunday January 27, 2013 MYT 6:03:00 PM
Updated: Sunday January 27, 2013 MYT 6:58:17 PM
Hindu devotees fulfil vows in Thaipusam celebration
KUALA LUMPUR: More than a million people, Hindus and tourists alike, thronged Lord Murugan temples in the country today in conjunction with the Thaipusam celebration.
While Hindu devotees fulfilled their vows by carrying 'kavadi' or pots of milk, the tourists were mesmerised by the unique celebration where the 'kavadi' bearers had spikes pierced into their bodies.
The crowds were the biggest at the three major Lord Murugan temples: the Sri Subramaniyar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves just outside Kuala Lumpur, the Sri Arulmigu Balathandayuthabani Temple or Waterfall Temple in George Town, Penang, and the Sri Subramaniyar Swamy Temple in Gunong Cheroh, Ipoh.
Thaipusam, included in the tourism calendar of Malaysia, falls on the day of the full moon in the Tamil month of 'Thai' and is celebrated over three days.
On Saturday, a chariot bearing the idol of Lord Murugan began a procession through the streets, usually starting at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple to the Lord Murugan temple.
The fulfilling of vows by devotees takes place on the second day. On the third day, the chariot bearing the idol of Lord Murugan returns to the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.
Sri Maha Mariamman is regarded by Hindus as the mother of Lord Murugan.
Thaipusam is a celebration to remember the day Lord Murugan received the 'vel' (sacred spear) from his mother to kill the demon Soorapadman. - Bernama