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Posted by on Jan 29, 2011 in Asia, Media, Travel Videos | 7 comments

Thaipusam – Hindu Festival At The Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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By Kristen Jacobson


Our first taste of  Thaipusam happened on the first night of the three day festival.  Many Hindus both living in Malaysia as well as all over the world, gathered together at Sri Mahamariamman Temple.  Here, they prepared a large float with flowers, lights and a statue of the Hindy deity Murugan.  The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a spear so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.  In the days leading up with the festival, devotees prepare for the celebration by cleansing themselves through prayer and fasting approx-48 days before Thaipusam.  The devotees observe celibacy and take only pure, Satvik food (Need tree, cow milk, flowers, fruits, and food that are allowed as offerings to God) once a day, while continuously thinking of God.  On the day of the festival, devotees shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage down the streets of Kuala Lumpur, making their way to the Batu Caves carrying various types of kavadi (burdens) on their heads (the burdens are a pot filled with milk).  Mortification of flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with skewers is also common.  I’ve never been part of such a large religious celebration before.  I felt as if I was back in India, with the smell of jasmine and incense flooding the air and positive energy among the people.  There were stalls set up around the city offering free delicious Indian food and drinks to all; Hindu or not.  Overall, this was an amazing and very unique experience.

Check out my video below:

7 Comments

  1. Thaipusam at Batu Caves or in Penang Malaysia is day the devotees pray and pay penance. The authorities running the festival for the 3 days of Thaipusam should respect the devotees and play devotional songs and music. NO MOVIE SONGS OR MUSIC should be played during these days because they should respect all the devotees who fast and pray during Thaipusam.

    Songs should be minimal only with devotional hymns and songs NOT MOVIE SONGS which are demeaning and humiliating especially for the devotees.

    The authorities should be sensitive and stop playing unnecessary songs which are not relevant to Thaipusam. There should only be devotional songs and music played on the loud speakers.

    Have a Blessed Thaipusam to all devotees and to all those people who come to pray, watch and tourists have a good time.

    Susie

    • I didn’t mean to offend.  I am very respectful to all other cultures and religions.  When I was there all I did was watch what was happening and try to understand.  I simply added music to my video for the viewers.  I am sorry if this was disrespectful. It was not intentional at all.

    • I didn’t mean to offend.  I am very respectful to all other cultures and religions.  When I was there all I did was watch what was happening and try to understand.  I simply added music to my video for the viewers.  I am sorry if this was disrespectful. It was not my intention.  

  2. I think you really lucked out. Did you understand why they have to pierce their backs? They have to rely on assistance to pierce themself and subsequently remove it-that shows alot of trust. ?Show us more. Mark

  3. that’s incredible!! i love the song/music you used too… got a nice beat to it…

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