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Thaipusam Festival is just around the corner. It will be celebrated on 23 and 24 January 2016. This is one of the largest Hindu festivals in South East Asia.
The worship of Lord Murugan has been a ritual among the Tamils whose ancestors came from South India. Thaipusam is a thanksgiving festival for devotees to celebrate the fulfillment of their vows, and one of the special offering is by carrying of a kavadi. In order to carry it, one should observe strict physical and mental discipline over a 48-day period. The kavadi where pictures or statues of Lord Murugan or other deities are fixed onto the arch is decorated with peacock feathers and a small pot of milk is attached to each end of the pole.
This religious festival attracts thousands of Hindu devotees who fulfill their vows through a 4km walk from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Little India to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road.
The main event of the day before Thaipusam (23 January 2016) is a chariot procession in which Sri Murugan leaves the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple for a day's visit to His brother Sri Vinayagar (known as Ganesha) at Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple in Keong Saik Road. Along the way, the chariot will make a stop at this iconic Sri Mariamman Temple (South Bridge Road, Chinatown).
In the evening, the chariot with Sri Murugan returns back to the Thendayuthapani Temple and members of the Chettiar community carry kavadis and this is often referred to as "Chetty Poosam".
Programme 23 Jan 2016:
5am procession starts from STT, Tank Road
6.30am stopping point Sri Mariamman Temple, South Bridge Road
7.30am stopping point Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple, Keong Saik Road
7am-11am shaving heads of adults in area of Teochew Building, Tank Road
5.30pm The chariot with Sri Murugan leaves Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple, Keong Saik Road returns back to the Thendayuthapani Temple and members of the Chettiar community carry kavadis and this is often referred to as "Chetty Poosam".
7pm the chariot will pass by Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, UCO Bank
8pm-9pm the chariot will be approaching STT, Tank Road
Programme 24 Jan 2016:
from midnight or early morning prayers will be offered. Devotees will arrive with milk pot offerings. Kavadi carriers will start leaving on the way to STT
4pm-8pm shaving heads of children in area of Teochew Building, Tank Road
On their arrival at the center aisle of the main sanctum of STT, they present their milk pots. Milk offered by devotees are collected and poured over the Vel. Devotees who complete their vows will receive sacred ash.
If you are in Singapore, do come and witness this once in a year festival.