Thaipusm is a Hindu festival that commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a Vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. It takes place in January / February each year and the largest Thaipusam celebrations take place in Mauritius, Malaysia and Singapore.
On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common.
We were lucky enough to be in Singapore in January whilst the celebrations were taking place so we headed to the area named ‘little India’ and stood along Serganoon Road to watch the Thaipusam procession. I wanted to share with you a couple of the photos that we took as some of the ‘burdens’ / piercings made me gasp.
If you want to visit Singapore for Thaipusam festival 2014 then it is taking place on 17th January 2014.