Malaysian Public Holiday No. 1: THAIPASAM – What is it about?


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Thaipusam is an important Hindu ceremony that is held every year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February. It is marked in Malaysia by a public holiday.

Thaipusam is celebrated by the Hindu people of South India and the mainly Tamil-speaking Hindu communities throughout Malaysia. Thaipusam is dedicated as a thanksgiving to Lord Subramaniam for answered prayers, and is also a day of penance.

Thaipusam is usually celebrated with a public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang and Selangor only.

Commonly recognised by outsiders as a festival that consists of often extreme rituals such as putting hooks into the skin, piercing the tongue with skewers and holding burning hot claypots of coals in bare hands.

For the visitor this festival can be viewed at Batu caves in Kuala Lumpur and is an absolute must if you are interested in different cultures and their rituals.

Happy Thaipasam to those who celebrate it!

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