Thaipusam in Batu Caves – What to see & What to do?
If you don’t even know what Thaipusam is all about, here are some words of wisdom from Wikipedia 🙂
Thaipusam (Tamil: தைப்பூசம்) is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb). It is also referred to as Thaipooyam or Thaippooyam in the Malayalam language. Pusam refers to a star that is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates both the birthday ofMurugan (also Subramaniam), the youngest son of Shiva and Parvati, and the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (spear) so he could vanquish the evil demonSoorapadman.
Being Malaysian, i’ve always heard about Thaipusam but have never actually spectated one until this year. Last month, so happened i was assigned to supervise work at Batu Caves. Therefore, i thought, why not take the chance to see what the celebration is all about. Joyce & Eric tagged along.
In this post, i’m going to GIVE YOU REASONS to WANT TO GO NEXT YEAR! 🙂 enjoy…
Early morning, normally about 5-6AM, a big group of people would be bathing in a small river near the Batu Caves entrance. Here’s what you can witness with your own eyes there.
To show their determination to clense their souls and sins, devotees are said to be vegetarians for over 3 months and go on to follow certain restrictions so that they do not suffer pain when penetrating metal and hooks on their body during the celebration.
The devotees will first pray, then they will go into tranz as the souls of the gods take over their body. They will then demonstrate to the public how they feel no pain and no fear. To show their faith, they will walk up the steps of the Batu Caves carrying statues of the gods.
If you are as lucky as me, you’ll see some amazing scenes following the procession. For example, i spotted a girl who got possessed even though she was not pledging for it. What a scene…
This is how many steps you have to take, and a view from up in the temple of Batu Caves
And for those of you who are alike me, who does not really believe in all the Hocus Pocus, to the level of thinking people are faking the tranz, you really have to be up in the temple to witness the moment when people are taken out of tranz.
After you see everything for your own eyes, you’ll start to think that there is such thing as miracles. You start to think that HOPE is a strong word again. I heard that the celebration in Penang every year is as impressive as the one in Batu Caves. I’m heading there next year.
In the mean time, i hope you guys will take the initiative to go down to Thaipusam next year and experience it for yourselves.
In between the whole celebration, i managed to INDIANIZE my good friends from work…
I love you Malayisa… 🙂