Thaipusam is a festival celebrated mostly by the Hindu Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January or February). It is observed mainly in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community such as Singapore, Malaysia and of course, India. Because of some supernatural rituals involving body piercing and some devotees going into trance, the meaning of Thaipusam is sometimes misunderstood. But Thaipusam is really a thanksgiving festival where the devotees celebrate the fulfilment of their vows.
In Singapore, Thaipusam starts the day before with a chariot procession in which Lord Murugan leaves the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road for a visit to His brother Lord Sri Vinayagar at Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple in Keong Saik Road. The chariot will return in the evening. The second day starts in the wee hour when most of us are about to sleep. Devotees and their family will come to Sri Srinivasa Temple in Serangoon Road to start the prayers, preparing the milk pots, and other rituals including the piercing of their bodies. They will then leave the temple to start the 4+km procession on foot to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple.
It’s amazing to watch these rituals happening right in front of you. The amount of concentration, trust, perseverance and faith that these devotees show are just out of this world. The festival has always attracted a big number of photographers and tourists starting from midnight till sundown. But, these devotees do not seem to be distracted during the rituals. Amazing concentration and prayers.
For more images and videos, watch these below. All videos and images shot on Fuji X-T1, X-T2, XF14mm, XF23mm and XF90mm. The video clips are straight out of the camera. Still images were processed in Adobe Lightroom.
For more information on Thaipusam, read more about it here and here.