Thaipusam Festival 2010

Thaipusam Festival 2010

Thaipusam Festival is a big Hindu festival celebrated by the Tamil community in Singapore. It’s also a big festival in Malaysia. I would encourage you all to read the information about this festival here. 
The festival in 2010 was on Saturday, 30 January, and the prayers and body piercing activities at the temple started as early as 2am in the morning. I arrived at the temple at about 3am and it was very packed but very well organized. Devotees and their families would pick a spot (which I believe was pre-arranged to avoid chaos)  to prepare their kavadis and offer their prayers. You would then start to witness the body piercing activities and no blood at all. Amazing!. Loud music was everywhere and I have to admit that I felt the ambience of the place was, for the lack of better word, a bit mystical. I saw some people went into a trance, but was not for long usually. 
After they’re done with the prayers, body piercing and other preparations, they started their journey of faith, walking barefoot to another temple which was about 4 kms away. Some of them carried big kavadis, some of them carried milk pots which were hanged with hooks pierced on their bodies. Most women carried milk pots on their heads.

What a celebration of faith !

He pierced himself. He looked like he had already done it many times (above).

Look at how the two main steel rods pierced through the skin near the waist to support the kavadis (above).

This man below was in a trance. He suddenly asked for a cigarette and they put on nail wooden sandals for him (above).

See the nail wooden sandals he was wearing after he went into a trance (above).

This woman was in a trance (above).

Once the kavadis was fully assembled, the devotee would dance to the music (above)

Devotee and his family members sang and dance to the music after the kavadis was fully installed (above)

The family members and friends would chant into the ears of the devotee during the piercing (above).

Young devotees offered prayers (above).

Words of encouragement from the family member for the young devotee before the start of the 4 kms procession (above).

Carrying the milk pots and ready for 4kms procession

Carrying the milk pots and getting ready for the 4kms procession (above).

Mini milk pots tied to hooks pierced on the back of the devotee (above).