Shocking Thaipoosam holiday in Kuala Lumpur

This is my third Indian festival or holiday this year. And I have to say that Thaipoosam in Kuala Lumpur is the holiday that you definitely have to see with your own eyes. Every time I experience cultures of different countries, and especially Indian culture, it inspires me to explore more and more cultures.

It was early in the morning when I made my journey to Batu caves, where I witnessed one of the most shocking Hindu holidays called Thaipoosam. Roots of this holiday lay in Hindu mythology and connected with God of war – Murugan. Legend says that spouse of Shiva God presented her son Murugan a magic spear, which helped him to defeat demon Surandman. This holiday refers to Hindu people from Tamil’ family. During the days of Thaipoosam people ask God for healing, help for relatives and close people, forgiveness and promise to sacrifice something (from a jar of milk to huge metal constructions).

The holiday begins before the sunrise and lasts till the late night. I came here to see how people celebrate this holiday at 7 am by train KL Sentral – Batu caves.

The first thing you notice is a huge amount of people. Well, after living in India for some time such big crowds became normal to me, I even miss it sometimes.
Before entering the caves, believers cut their hair on the head.
They also pierce parts of their bodies. On this image, you can see the man, who yells prayers and mantras being in trance.
A column of people moving from the side of a bridge, and there were singers with megaphones and drummers in many groups, who were cheering up believers with loud and rapid rhythms.
Many believers were bedangled with kavadi (tran. from Tamil’ language – carriage, weight, load). It is a semi-circled construction that plays a role of mobile altar, which is fixed with hooks directly to the body of believer.
There were believers of different ages. Some of them seemed to fall down in a second.

 

Sometimes believers sat down only for like 30-40 seconds to have a rest. Children make a massage of legs to their dad.
Some believers had their cheeks and tongues pierces, hanging fruits attached to their body by hooks.
Every believer had to walk up the stairs leading to Batu caves.

After they reach the top of the stairs, believers have to walk a little bit more and kavadi would be taken off from their bodies.

 

When believers come out of the trance and some time passes, they start to feel horrible pain.

When I reached the top and was there for a while I went back home, and while I was going downstairs there still were a lot of believers making their way to the top.

This is my third Indian festival or holiday this year. And I have to say that Thaipoosam in Kuala Lumpur is the holiday that you definitely have to see with your own eyes. Every time I experience cultures of different countries, and especially Indian culture, it inspires me to explore more and more cultures.

Thanks.

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