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Thaipusam 2024 in Singapore

Hindu devotees dance with heavy and prickly kavadis decorated with flowers and peacock feathers and pour life-giving milk to honour Murugan

Dates: January 25, 2024


Thaipusam is a religious celebration held by devotees of Singapore's Tamil community. Its highlight is a barefoot walk of devotees carrying milk pots and dancing with prickly kavadis decorated with flowers and peacock feathers, that weigh up to 80 kg. All that is done to honor Lord Subramaniam or Murugan, who is known as the destroyer of evil.

Milk symbolizes​ abundance and fertility, whereas thorny kavadis, literally translated as "sacrifice at every step", contributes to the month-long vegetarian trial, as the devotees follow the conviction that mind and body should be free of any extra pleasures, but rather undergo sufferings in order to get rid of the evil and rebirth into the good.

Ritual celebration lasts for two days. On the second day, the devotees chant glorifying songs to Lord Murugan, while carrying milk pots. The procession winds its way along 4.5 kilometres, beginning from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and finishing at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, where the milk is finally poured over from the pots on the statue of the Lord Murugan.

The ritual embodies a token of worshipping the figure. The whole idea of the feast is actually to pray in order to obtain Murugan's virtues and get rid of one's wickedness. Celebration date varies from year to year depending on Tamil calendar, it is held on the full moon of the Thai month, that is either in mid-January or early February.

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