Thaipusam in Singapore and Malaysia is a whole lot of colour and music. It includes a large procession of Hindu devotees who seek blessings, give thanks and fulfil vows.


Image Courtesy: Anhgemus Dinh used under the Creative Commons Licence

The procession starts early in the morning, with devotees carrying milk pots and wooden kavadis (a type of sculpture) in honour of Lord Subramanya, a Hindu deity. Interestingly the kavadis are attached to the carriers by hooks and pierces through the skin. These people do not feel any pain and there is no blood owing to strict preparations beforehand. The procession, and the festival that it marks, follows a month of spiritual preparation and a strict vegetarian diet.

Throughout the day, hymns and songs can be heard as devotees walk the streets, sprinkling flowers on the roads and sidewalks. Some of them decorate the kavadis elaborately, with garlands and peacock feathers. Overall, it’s quite an interesting spectacle for anyone interested in Hindu culture.

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