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How to Celebrate Thaipusam At Home

Wong Shu Lee  


  January 27, 2021

Every year, tourists from all over the world would fly to Malaysia around January to February to witness the colourful and vibrant Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves and other Hindu temples in Malaysia. 


In Malaysia, Thaipusam is the biggest festival for Hindus after Deepavali. It is observed as a day of thanksgiving and paying penance for Lord Murugan. This day is reserved as a public holiday in many states in Malaysia. One month before the exact day, devotees will start to prepare themselves for the occasion by cleansing their bodies through fasting and abstinence, and usually observe a vegetarian diet for up to a month. 


A few days before the actual day of Thaipusam, many devotees will begin paying penance by carrying the kavadi (a decorated structure bearing the image of several deities including Lord Murugan) on their shoulders and pal kodum (milk pots) carried above their heads. Besides, devotees and visitors would also wear bright yellow or orange clothes, the colours that significant to Lord Murugan. 


Devotee wore yellow clothes to join the chariot and celebrations during Thaipusam. 


However, due to the increasing Covid-19 clusters across the nation, the celebration in Penang, as well as in many other states, has been cancelled for the first time in over a century with devotees told to stay home. 


Last Saturday (Jan 23), the Federal Territories minister Annuar Musa announced that the NSC had approved the chariot procession in conjunction with the Thaipusam celebrations. As of Sunday (Jan 24), the minister again clarified that the chariot is only allowed to travel at a stipulated time, either at midnight or early morning, with no procession. Only 10 temple personnel will be allowed to accompany the chariot. 


However, many people, including the Hindu community, are still worried that the chariot might lead to more Covid-19 infections. 


Therefore, there are many efforts that being done by temples’ committees and media to ensure devotees could enjoy the celebrations without putting themselves at the risk of getting infected. For instance, Astro Ulagam is going to live stream the Thaipusam rituals and celebrations from several temples for devotees to join the prayers at home. 


We hope that everyone can enjoy a safe and happy Thaipusam, at the same time adhere strictly to the MCO rules and regulations. Let’s stay at home, pray along with the live-streaming, and prepare a nice Banana Leaf meal and enjoy it with your family. 


Only if we cooperate to help end the spread of the Covid-19, we could resume celebrating all our favourite festivals with our dearest friends and family without limitations of lockdowns. Let’s hope that the day that the pandemic ended can come to us sooner. 


We wish all Hindus a Happy Thaipusam! May you all be blessed with overflowing happiness, success, and prosperity on this special festival. 



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