The Hindu Endowments Board announced on Jan 28 that the annual Thaipusam Festival procession will begin at 12.05am on Feb 3 this year.
At the start time, devotees carrying milk pots can begin their walk of faith from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road, which will start receiving milk offerings from 12.30am on the same day.
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival which honours the victory of deity Lord Murugan over demon hordes. Devotees seek blessings and fulfil their vows by carrying kavadis – intricate structures of steel and wood which incorporate sharp body piercings – and milk pots as offerings.
Here are five facts about the colourful and dynamic festival you may not have known.
1. The word Thaipusam is derived from the 10th month in the Tamil calendar called “thai” 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).
2. Besides being acknowledged as a symbol of virtue, bravery, youth and beauty, the Hindus believe that Lord Murugan, also known as Lord Subramaniam, is also the universal dispenser of favours. Hence, some who have made vows and pledges to Lord Subramaniam prove their gratitude to him by undergoing self-mortification on Thaipusam day.