Thaipusan originates fom a Hindu pranic story of Idumban, a devotee of Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan, son of Lord Shiva) who received a divine calling to pay his homage to the deity on a hilltop shrine. Along his journey, he sang hymns in praise of Lord Subramaniam to forget the heavy burden of the offering he was carrying. Pleased at the devotion shown by Idumban, Lord Subramaniam showered blessing upon him.
Thaipusan commemorates Idumban’ devotion and even today, it is believed that any devotee carrying a kavadi in fulfillment of vows, will have their wishes granted, like those of Idumban.
During the procession on the eve of Thaipusam, a statue of Lord Subaramniam in a silver chariot (kavadis) will travel from the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Rd to Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak St.
Did you know :
• Lord Murugan is often depicted riding on a peacock hence the use of peacock feathers on the kavadis.
• Hindu believe that limes ward off evil spirits
• Devotees pray to Lord Ganesha before Thaipusam for success in fulfilling their vows because he is the remover of obstacles
• Holy ash is sprinkled over wounds left by the skewers as it is believed to have the ability to heal
• Coconuts are broken by devotees to symbolize the ‘opening of oneself’ and the white flesh of the kernel reveals the purity of the heart and soul.
• Devotee ring the bells on the door of the temple to announce their arrival on the Gods before pooja (pray)
• It takes about 2 hours to assemble a spiked kavadi.
*text taken from the board at the Serangon Rd. More pictures at Multiply.