The Start of the Silver Chariot Procession at Sri Maha Mariamman Temple for Thaipusam

Thaipusam is a festival celebrated by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February), usually coinciding with Pushya star, known as Poosam in Tamil. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, South Africa, Canada and other places where ethnic Hindu Tamils reside as a part of the local Indian diaspora population such as Réunion, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica and the other parts of the Caribbean. The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the day Lord Murugan received the ‘vel’ (lance) from his mother, Goddess Parvathi, to annihilate the wicked demon, Soorapadman, to restore prosperity and wellbeing for the people. The chariot procession bearing the idols of Lord Murugan and his two consorts, Valli and Theivanai, began from the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Jalan Tun HS Lee on Feb 6 at 10 pm before reaching the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple about 3 pm the next day. The returning journey will take place on Feb 9 at 4pm from Batu Caves and the chariot is expected to reach Sri Maha Mariamman temple at 3am on Feb 10.

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