Guest Author - Taisha Turner
The festival of Thaipusam is an awesome display of belief and devotion. Thaipusam is a celebration of the birth of Lord Murugan (Lord Subramaniam) the youngest son of Shiva. Lord Murugan is the grantor of wishes. Hindu Indians with a future wish, desiring to fulfill a vow for a received wish or repenting for a past sin take part in the procession.
Also, the Thaipusam festival celebrates the rice harvest plus the stars and light. The festival is usually around the last week of January or the first week of February. The celebration takes part in the Little India section of Singapore.
Although, Thaipusam is a Hindu Indian festival, others are welcome. The 3-kilometer procession begins at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and travels to the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple in Tank Road, Singapore. It is best to arrive early in the morning around 6 A.M..
The Hindu devotees are in a trance. The trance allows the people not to feel the pain of the body piercing. There is no blood either. Body parts, including tongues and cheeks are pierced by sharp skewers. Deep devotees carry enormous steel arches called kavadis. The Kavadis is attached to their bodies with spikes, hooks and skewers.
The festival is open to males and females of all ages. Generally, the men endure the piercing but so do some women. Many entranced women sway to the beat of the musicians as they travel from one temple to another. Body piercing is not necessary to be a part of the procession. One is allowed to do something less arduous like carrying a jug of milk.
Keep your travel docoments together. Have everything in a handy holder to ease boarding airplanes and clearing security checks.