Thaipusam is one of the most moving religious manifestations that I have ever experienced. I have seen this Festival for three years in a row now, here in Singapore. This year, 2016, it was celebrated on the 23 and 24 of January. At this Hindu-Tamil Festival, devotees go on procession between two temples, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, in ‘Little India,’ and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, in River Valley. These temples are almost three miles apart. Devotees are accompanied by an entourage of family and assistants. This year, for the first time in forty-two years, live music was also allowed. Male devotees usually carry heavy wooden or metal structures called Kavadis, whereas women and children carry pots with milk.
The Kavadis are supported at the hips and at the shoulders, but they could also be attached to the body by hooked chains or skewers inserted into the skin. Some devotees also pierce their cheeks and tongues with spears of up to a quarter of an inch of diameter. With this sacrifice of the flesh, devotees are asking the God Murugan for help or redemption.
I have included more details in my blog in Spanish, as well as additional pictures. Here is the link, and a few pictures from this year’s Festival.