Monday, January 21, 2008

Where’s my gloating rights?

Hey its that way! The one year I’m finally in the public holiday zone of Selangor for Thaipusam and they declare public holiday for KL. Hello where’s my gloating rights? I demand the right to gloat ;p

I was out Sunday afternoon gallivanting across the streets of KL and we stopped by the temple to watch them shine and clean the chariot in time for the procession early tomorrow morning.

I just realized I’ve never really written about Thaipusam and its meaning.

Getting ready Thaipusam in Malaysia is a festival of 3 days for most but for the Kavadi bearers the journey starts 1 month earlier. Following a strict vegetarian fast, constant prayers, sleeping on floors and abstaining from any entertainment the journey ends at their destined temple.

The Silver chariot leaves the Maha Mariamman temple at Jalan Bandar, Kuala Lumpur in the wee hours of the eve of Thaipusam and travels 15 km with thousands of devotees to the centre of the festival at Batu Caves. The festival begins at the temple as soon as the festival flag is hoisted in the evening of the eve. Nearly a million people turn up for the festival in the next 36 hours together with the hundreds of kavadis and thousands of milk bearers who throng the cave temples accompanied by the sounds of drums.

The next day the Chariot makes its way back into the city to mark the end of Thaipusam.

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