More music, dedicated lanes for women and children for Thaipusam 2016
More music will be allowed at Thaipusam celebrations next year, as agreed by the police following a public feedback exercise by the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB,
The feedback was conducted over 10 sessions involving more than 100 participants.
HEB said in a statement on Dec 2 that it "takes serious note of the Government's view that the foremost concern is to tackle disorderly behaviour during the procession, which undermines the sanctity of the festival. The arrests of three men at Thaipusam 2015 highlight the procession's law and order risks. One of the men had assaulted the police officers and all three used vulgarities against the officers. The incident was further inflamed by untrue remarks posted online. All the individuals involved in the Thaipusam 2015 incident have been charged and their cases are before the courts."
Anchored by a large, colourful annual procession, Thaipusam sees Hindu devotees in Singapore seeking blessings, fulfilling vows and offering thanks.
The festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who represents virtue, youth and power, and is the destroyer of evil.
The festival generally lasts for 2 days. On the eve, the chariot procession (with the Lord Subramaniam statue) begins from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak Road.
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
Thaipusam - A Festival for the Brave
Thaipusam actually celebrates the victory of the Hindu deity Subramanya over the forces of darkness. On this occasion, Hindus show the sincerity of their faith. It is a time for making and fulfilling vows. Devotees pray for divine help and make vows. When their prayers are answered, they fulfil their vows.
To do this, a devotee would pierce his cheeks, tongue, face or other suitable body parts with sharp objects. Next his friends or relatives load a kavadi on his shoulder. Finally, in a trance-like manner, he goes on a 4km journey of faith.
Others, including young children, might join the procession carrying only milk pots. The Thaipusam Singapore procession starts at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road and ends at the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple on Tank Road.