Thaipusam Celebration 2021

Thaipusam is a festival celebrated by the Tamil devotees of Lord Kartikeya (Lord Murugan), the son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. The festival is observed on the Pournami Tithi (Full Moon Day) in the Tamil month of Thai which concurs with the Makara month as per the Solar calendar followed in North India.

The word Thaipusam consists of the words Thai and Pusam, where Pusam stands for Nakshatram Pusam (also known as Pushya). The festival is observed in India and countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and several other parts of the world. This year, Thaipusam will be celebrated today. Read on to know more about it.

On this day, devotees worship Lord Murugan and do severe penance to worship him. It is also believed that doing penance can help them get rid of arrogance, greed and hatred.

On this day, people visit Lord Murugan’s temple and offer him yellow or orange coloured fruits and flowers. It is believed that Lord Murugan likes the yellow or orange colour and offering him something in these colours will please him. Devotees carry a branch of a tree on their shoulder with two ends containing milk pots or pots filled with flowers and fruits.

Kavadi Attam is one of the most significant features of Thaipusam celebrations. A kavadi is a semi-circular wooden carrier used by the devotees to carry offerings meant for Lord Murugan. Many of the devotees tonsure their head and walk barefoot as they carry the Kavadi on their shoulder. The ritual of dancing while carrying the Kavadi with sincere faith and devotion is called Kavadi Attam. Some even carry a pot consisting of milk on their head. And those celebrating the festival (especially devotees carrying the Kavadi, maintain celibacy, observe a vratham and consume only vegetarian foods.

While the Kavadi Attam is one of the most distinctive features of Thaipusam, the mortification of the body is also common. Devotees pierce their skin, tongue and body with Vel (spear), a weapon carried by Lord Murugan. Thus, they showcase their unshakable faith in the divine.

Thaipusam is believed to be the day when Goddess Parvati gifted her warrior son, Murugan (also known as Subramanian/Shanmugham) with a Vel (a divine spear) as he headed to the battlefield to end the tyranny of a demon named Soorapadman.

Soorapadman had grown so powerful that the Devas failed to defeat him. In a bid to save the universe, the Devas sought help from Lord Shiva, who, in turn, gave birth to Murugan with his divine powers. Thus, the warrior God came into being. Eventually, Soorapadman was eliminated. And with the demon’s death, the Devas got riddance from their miseries. Peace and Dharma were restored. Hence, devotees worship Lord Murugan on Thaipusam day to seek his blessings and get riddance from their troubles.

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