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Thaipusam Essential Rituals

Thaipusam

A festival celebrated by Hindus to fulfill their vows by either carrying a Paalkudam (Milk Pot) or Kavadi for Lord Murugan. Kavadi Pooja is performed to get the blessings of Lord Murugan before devotees carry their kavadi. Idumban Poojai, signifies the end of fast after Thaipusam.

Kavadi bearers maintain a strict fast during this period and involve in various rituals. Kavadi Poojai is performed to get the blessings of Lord Murugan before devotees carry their kavadi. Idumban Poojai, signifies the end of fast after Thaipusam.

Thaipusam Essential Rituals

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Thaipusam is a temple festival celebrated by Hindus in Singapore. It is probably the single most important public ritual observed by the community every year between January and February. Dedicated to Lord Subramaniam, also known as Lord Muruga, a major South Indian god, the deity of youth, power and virtue, this festival is mainly celebrated at temples. Thaipusam is the day when Lord Subramaniam appears before His devotees mounted on his Vahana (vehicle) the peacock. It also celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

Devotees prepare themselves spiritually with extensive prayer and fasting before performing acts of penance or thanksgiving like carrying a kavadi. The basic kavadi consists of a short wooden pole surmounted by a wooden arch, decorated with peacock feathers (symbolic of Lord Muruga, as the peacock is his mascot), margosa leaves and other materials. Often, sharp skewers are pierced through the tongues, cheeks and bodies of kavadi-bearers as a practice of self-mortification. Women, on the other hand, carry vessels with offerings that include fruits, flowers and pots of milk.