KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Thaipusam is celebrated across the country by Hindu devotees today with colourful processions of kavadis and various religious activities in honour of Hindu deity Lord Murugan.
At the Sri Subramaniar Swami Temple in Batu Caves here, large number of devotees gathered as early as 6.30am and climbed the 272 steps leading to the temple.
Thousands of devotees carried the “pal koodam” (milk pots) and “kavadi” (a gaily decorated wooden or metal frame) as they walked kilometres to undergo penance in fulfilling vows made to Lord Murugan for answering their prayers.
Thaipusam is observed by Hindus in the month of “Thai”, which is the 10th month in the Tamil calendar and during “pusam” (full moon), occurring in January or February.
In Selangor, a student, Chin Siew Bee, 23, took the opportunity of the public holiday to bring her family members to Batu Caves to experience the festive atmosphere.
A check by Bernama found that some locals and foreign tourists were wearing face masks to prevent possible infection of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Romanian tourist who only wanted to be known as Bogdan, 23, said there is a need to take extra precaution especially when in crowded places.
Meanwhile, in Penang, thousands of Hindus were seen flooding Jalan Kebun Bunga in George Town as early as 6am, before walking two kilometres to the Thanneermalai Shree Balathandayuthapani Temple.
There were also many foreign tourists who had come to watch the Thaipusam celebration that some of them described as a unique event not to be missed.
In Perak, the Sri Subramaniar Temple located at Gunung Cheroh, Ipoh, was the focus of the Thaipusam celebration with the chariot procession arriving from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Sungai Pari in Buntong last night.
In Kedah, members of the Chinese community were among the estimated 100,000 people who came to Sri Subramaniya Swami Devasthanam Temple at Jalan Kuala Ketil near Pekan Lama in Sungai Petani.
The devotees fulfilled their vows by carrying the kavadi and pal koodam.
In Johor, thousands of Hindu devotees thronged several temples where the Thaipusam celebration was held, particularly at the Sri Muniswarar Temple in Tampoi where about 10,000 Hindus turned up.
Kavadi bearers trekked four kilometres from the temple to the Sri Subramaniar Temple at Jalan Pengkalan Rinting and back to the Sri Muniswarar Temple.
In Negri Sembilan, about 2,000 Hindus flooded Sri Bala Thandayuthapani Temple at Jalan Yam Tuan, the oldest and largest temple in Seremban, to perform prayers and other religious activities.
In Sabah, the main venue for the festival was the Sri Subramaniar Temple at Lok Kawi Camp where more than 1,000 devotees converged. — Bernama