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Thaipusam in Penang PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator II   
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:00

Thaipusam Date: 19th to 21st January 2011

Thaipusam is celebrated during the full moon of the 10th month in the Hindu calendar. It is normally held in the last week of January or the beginning of February, depending on the alignment of the sun, moon and planets.

A pilgrimage procession takes place to bring the statue of Lord Muruga, who represents virtue, youth and power, on a silver chariot led by more then 60 Kavadis adorned with peacock feathers from Little India to the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple atop the hill of Waterfall Road.

On the day before (19th January), old coconuts are smashed along the roads where the Chariot procession will take place.

During Thaipusam in Penang (20th January), devotees go through a physical endurance of being skewered and pierced on the back and front of their bodies by hooks with miniature urns as an act of penance. Majority of the devotees who go through this act are Indians but Chinese, Sikh and other visitors can also be seen taking part in this act of faith which leaves many devotees and observers alike, spiritually transformed.

indian chariot - copy


In celebration, more than 100 beautifully-decorated make-shift stalls, are erected along Waterfall Road road where charitable Chinese and Indian families give out bottled water, fruits, sweet, buns and prepared sweetened and sour rice to devotees. Thunderous loud music, singing, dancing and the beating of drums of devotional songs by their supporters can be seen and heard far and wide throughout the entire vicinity of the festival.

Upon reaching the temple, devotees will fulfill their vows, offer thanksgiving prayers and penance to Lord Muruga. The chariot is then scheduled for a return trip (21st January) to start from the temple on the same evening and reach Kovil Veedu before dawn the following day.


This festival of rich culture and deep tradition is an 'out of this world' experience which draws a massive crowd of tens of thousands to these streets in Penang yearly.

Thaipusam Schedule:


Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 10:37

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