Thaipusam festival is grandly celebrated in the Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia. It is usually celebrated in the Tamil Month of Thai
, the end of January or mid February. Thai and Pusam refer to a star at the highest point during the festival. This is the time when Lord Murugan became enlightened and his mother Lord Parvati came to him with the spear Vel
to fight the demon Soorapadman.
Hindu devotees will walk 14km from Lord Mariamman Temple in Jalan Bandar, together with the chariot. The journey starts in the morning and reaches Batu Caves in the late afternoon. Most Hindus will walk barefooted, carrying a pot of milk or placing the pot of milk on their heads. The repayment for the vow must be fulfilled when one made a vow the year before. They said, if you wish upon Lord Murugan, believe in Him, it will be granted and it will come true.
Some go to an extreme, by having pierce their cheeks and tongue with Vel, hooks on their skin and even carried a 30-50kg of kavadi
. No blood can be seen. These devotees will fast at least a week to a month, vegetarian, speak less pray more,
sleep on thin mattress on the floor before they can perform the tasks they wished for. Everything "GOOD". On the day of Thaipusam, they will wash themselves by the flowing river (Batu River), pray before the chosen God, asking permission to perform the kavadi
. They will go into trance and an appointed person will pierce or hook onto their skin, placing the kavadi
on them to walk up 272 steps of Batu Caves, where Lord Murugan shrine is. They dance in rejoice, with a small group of musicians singing Vel Vel Vel
with family supporters. Vel Vel Vel
means Victory Victory Victory. The vow made has been fulfilled.
Look out for "Superman" picture.
Offerings can be made simple, incense, flower garlands, milk or a simple prayer with a "Thank You".
Chosen God means a Hindu Devotee can choose any God or which Idam
they pray to, to perform the trance. They can choose, Lord Murugan, Lord Shiva, Lord Mariamman, Lord Ganesha, Lord Muneeswara, Lord Hanuman or three in one such as Lord Durga, Lord Letchumi and Lord Saraswati.
These carries on for at least a week and ends with the chariot carrying Lord Murugan back to
Mariamman Temple in Jalan Bandar, Kuala Lumpur.
This year Batu Caves received 1.3 million visitors.
Hindu devotees came from all over Malaysia, some even from other countries, India, Mauritius, Reunion Islands and Fiji.
The videos were taken in 2009
Below are the photos of faces with true devotions.
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