Friday, 17 January 2014

Thaipusam (Tamil: தைப்பூசம், Taippūcam)

Thaipusam Procession in Little India in Singapore

Devotees carrying kavadi during the Thaipusam procession in Singapore's Little India
Devotees carrying kavadi during the Thaipusam procession in Singapore’s Little India

Singapore’s Little India, which in December last year, was the scene of the first riot in Singapore in decades, was on Friday the scene of a traditional peaceful procession of colours, sound and religious devotion as devout Hindus carried kavadis, pots of milk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Singapore.

The four kilometre walk from Serangoon Road to Tank Road where Chettiars temple as it is more commonly known as, is undertaken by Hindus on this festival in honour of the Hindu deity, Murugan.

The kavadi bearers are often surrounded by friends and family who are festively attired and enthusiastically encourage the kavadi bearer with music and singing along the way. Women devotees sometimes carry pots of milk as offerings as part of the Thaipusam procession in Little India in Singapore.

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Devotees throng Little India temple to mark Thaipusam


Devotees thronged the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Little India on Thursday to celebrate the Hindu festival Thaipusam

One of Singapore's oldest temples, Perumal Temple is the starting point of the annual Thaipusam procession.

Devotees will carry various types of "kavadi" to seek blessings from the Hindu warrior god Murugan.

As large crowds are expected at Little India, the Public Order Act proclamation will be in effect in the area.

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Thaipusam: A family's annual walk of faith


Every year, thousands of Hindus in Singapore celebrate Thaipusam, a festival observed on the full moon day of the Tamil month, Thai. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM VIDEO

This year, the festival is celebrated on Friday. Devotees traditionally carry milk pots along a 4km journey from Serangoon Road to Tank Road. Many also carry spiked Kavadis weighing more than 20kg, to show their devotion to the Hindu deity, Lord Murugan.

In 2010, Straits Times photojournalists Samuel He and Desmond Lim followed then 39-year-old Chandru Latchaman and his family as they prepared for the ceremony.

"You'll have to have the pain. No pain, no gain," said Mr Chandru, who belongs to a family of about 40 members. The family had been observing the Thaipusam festival since 1969.

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No alcohol consumption at Little India during Thaipusam



Police have said they will enforce the alcohol ban ruling at Little India during Thaipusam, which falls on Friday, January 17.

Since Thaipusam falls on a day before the no-alcohol weekend, police said the rule will take effect from 6pm on Thursday, January 16 to 6am on Monday, January 20.

As large crowds are expected at Little India where a procession will pass through, the Public Order (Preservation) Act (POPA) proclamation will be in effect in the area, said the police

related:

Little India shop owner charged with selling liquor without a licence

37 warned for drinking alcohol in Little India's restricted area

Eatery owner charged with unlicensed alcohol sale


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A ban on public drinking

Picture of the week: A signboard declares the Thaipusam route in 2014 to be a proclaimed area where public drinking is banned
Since the 2011 ban on music from boomboxes, drums and gongs mandated by the Hindu Endowments Board in 2011, another ban has been in place for Thaipusam this year - a ban on public drinking.
The festival, which commemorates the occasion when the goddess Parvathi gave her son Murugan a spear (Vel) to vanquish an evil demon Soorapadam, is celebrated by Hindus in Malaysia and Singapore.
No apparent reason has been given for the ban - an AsiaOne report only quoted the police as saying that they had consulted with the Hindu Endowments Board and Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association, and that both organisations had been in favour of the ban.
The ban seems misplaced, for it is unclear why anyone would drink in a religious procession. The ban is ostensibly an extension of the ban on public drinking in Little India in response to the riots in Little India in early December 2013 - but why?
The restriction on music has already left people sore. Playwright Alfian Sa’at commented on a Facebook post: “(Any) kind of harmony that is achieved through a regime of silence is only a facade of harmony, something watched on a screen with the mute button on.”
What would more restrictions bring? Will this be a start to things that are much worse?
Picture of the week: A signboard declares the Thaipusam route in 2014 to be a proclaimed area where public drinking is banned

Since the 2011 ban on music from boomboxes, drums and gongs mandated by the Hindu Endowments Board in 2011, another ban has been in place for Thaipusam this year - a ban on public drinking.

The festival, which commemorates the occasion when the goddess Parvathi gave her son Murugan a spear (Vel) to vanquish an evil demon Soorapadam, is celebrated by Hindus in Malaysia and Singapore.

No apparent reason has been given for the ban - an AsiaOne report only quoted the police as saying that they had consulted with the Hindu Endowments Board and Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association, and that both organisations had been in favour of the ban.

related: A Different Thaipusam

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Faces of Thaipusam 2014

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The festival, which is commemorated by the southern Indian community in both Malaysia and Singapore is celebrated with much zeal and passion bringing much life and colour to the streets of a Singapore.

In Singapore, the festival involves a procession of kavadi bearing devotees down a 4 kilometre route from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple (Chettiars’ Temple) at Tank Road, which starts at midnight on Thaipusam and continues through much of the day and into the late evening.

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Thaipusam will be observed on Jan 17: Hindu Endowments Board



The procession of the Hindu festival's devotees beginning at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple along Serangoon Road will commence from 12.05am that day and devotees will walk the 4.5km route to conclude their vows at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple along Tank Road.

Thaipusam is a day for Hindus to give thanks and fulfill vows. It is observed on the full moon day of the Tamil month Thai to make offerings to Lord Muruga.

According to the guidelines issued by the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB), in order for the procession to be held within the time specified by the police permit, no participant in the procession shall leave Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple before 12.05am or after 5pm on Jan 17.

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Pongal festival: Celebrating the harvest in Little India


A festival bazaar in Campbell Lane featuring stalls selling Indian outfits, jewellery, arts and crafts. Pongal - a harvest festival - sees Hindus giving thanks for the blessings of the past year. - ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

It is harvest time in Little India.

A celebration of Pongal, a harvest festival observed by Hindus, kicked off yesterday at Kinta Road.

Pongal marks the start of the auspicious month of Thai, when Hindus give thanks for the blessings of the past year. The festival pays tribute to the Sun God for a good harvest.

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ThaiPusam in Singapore

In Singapore, Hindu devotees start their procession at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in the early morning, carrying milk pots as offerings or attaching "kavadis" and spikes pierced on their body. The procession travels for 4 kilometres before finishing at Tank Road, Sri Thendayuthapani Temple.

On the previous day, the deity Lord Sri Thendayuthapani is taken on a procession in the Silver Chariot to Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar temple and returns in the evening followed by Chettiar Kavadies and other devotees. This event is popularly called as Chetty Pusam in Singapore.

On Thaipusam day, hundreds of devotees offer prayers either by piercing their body with spikes and lemon, pulling a chariot or carrying Kavadis from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. The devotees then offer their prayers and fulfill their vows. The Vel (holy spear) in the sanctum is showered with milk continuously for hours. Several Chinese devotees and people of other religion and races also come to fulfill their vows on this day.

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A Walk of Faith

Sri Thandayuthapani Temple

Thaipusam is a highly symbolic Hindu festival celebrated by Singapore’s Tamil community. It is an annual procession by Hindu devotees seeking blessings, fulfilling vows and offering thanks. Celebrated in honour of Lord Subrahmanya (also known as Lord Murugan), who represents virtue, youth and power to Hindus and is the destroyer of evil, it is held during the full moon in the 10th Tamil month, called Thai, which falls in mid-January each year.

In Singapore, the Thaipusam ceremony starts in the early hours of the morning where devotees fulfill their vows with a 4.5 km walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple along Serangoon Road to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road. The first batches of devotees usually carry milk pots and wooden Kavadis. A Kavadi consists of two semicircular pieces of wood or steel which are attached to a cross structure that can be balanced on the shoulders of a devotee. It is often decorated with flowers, palm leaves and peacock feathers. The milk they have been carrying is then offered to Lord Subrahmanya at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Some devotees also pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a garlanded wooden arch across their shoulders. Devotees carrying spiked Kavadis, which require elaborate preparations, leave the temple in the later part of the morning and continue till night. The festival is not just an exclusively Indian affair; several Chinese devotees and people of other races also come to fulfill their vows on this day.

The festival is a visual spectacle and it often brings traffic in the city centre to a standstill, with a colourful procession full of chanting and dizzying rhythms of Indian drums.

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Thaipusam

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated in January or February annually. Thaipusam is actually derived from thai which means "10th", and pusam meaning "when the moon is at its brightest". It is thus celebrated when the moon is full in the Tamil month of Thai (between January and February). Dedicated to Lord Subramaniam, also known as Lord Murugan, the deity of youth, power and virtue, this festival is a time for repentance for devotees with celebrations carried out mainly at the temple.

Devotees prepare themselves spiritually with extensive prayer and fasting before performing acts of penance or thanksgiving like carrying a kavadi from one temple to another. Often, sharp skewers are pierced through their tongues, cheeks and bodies as a practice of self-mortification. Offerings include fruits, flowers and pots of milk

In Singapore, this Hindu festival starts at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road. Thekavadi carriers, together with their relatives, friends and well-wishers congregate here in the morning to participate in the procession which will take them through Serangoon Road, Orchard Road and finally to the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple at Tank Road, commonly known as the Murugan Temple or Chettiar's Temple. All along the way, devotees chant hymns in praise of the deity. The kavadi carriers' arrival at the Murugan Temple at Tank Road marks the accomplishment of their task. A mixture of fruits and honey is prepared and distributed among the devotees.

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ThaiPusam in Our temple






ThaiPusam is celebrated during the Tamil month of 'Thai' around January/February. On the previous day, the deity Lord Murugan is taken on a city procession in the Silver Chariot to Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar temple at 73 Keong Saik Road and returns in the evening followed by Chettiar Kavadies. This event is popularly called as Punar Pusam or Chetty Pusam in Singapore.

On ThaiPusam day, hundreds of devotees offer prayers either by piercing their body with spikes and lemon, pulling a chariot or carrying Kavadis from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Serangoon Road. The devotees then offer their prayers and fulfill their vows. The Vel (holy spear) in the sanctum is showered with milk continuously for hours. Several Chinese devotees and people of other religion and races also fulfill their vows on this day

Sri Thendayuthapani temple is celebrating this festival in Singapore for more than hundred years. This is also a day in Singapore that attracts thousands of foreign tourists.

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Booming time for fortune tellers during Thaipusam



Fancy your fortune told by the parakeet that correctly predicted the winner of the 2010 World Cup?

The art of kili josiyam or parrot astrology is alive and well this Thaipusam, as fortune teller M.C. Mohan and his 11-year-old feathered friend Meena Kutti set up shop near the Balaji temple at Batu Caves.

"It picked Spain over the Netherlands. For RM5 (S$1.93), Meena Kutti will pick a tarot card and you will know your luck for one month," said the 52-year-old who is usually based at Lebuh Ampang.

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Thaipusam Festival in Singapore 2013

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Thaipusam is a VERY symbolic Hindu festival that has a very large following in both Singapore and Malaysia. On this day, Hindu devotees seek blessings, fast, offer thanks and gratitude and fulfill their vows. The honor is given to Lord Subrahmanya (Lord Murugan) who represents virtue, youth and power. He is also the destroyer of evil. The motive of Thaipusam festival is to pray to God to receive his grace so that bad traits are eliminated.

Pure coconut water is spread before the devotees as they make their journey.

The majority of those participating were carrying large silver jugs on their heads, containing milk (which is then offered to Lord Subrahmanya at the last temple) and a fair number also carried wooden Kavadis (an arched structure that is balanced on the shoulders of a devotee and highly decorated).

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Thaipusam 2013 Singapore - A Walk with GOD (Part 1: Daybreak)


Thaipusam 2013 Singapore - A Walk with GOD (Part 2: Getting Ready)