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Thaipusam Festival


Thaipusam Festival

The most spectacular Hindu festival in Malaysia marking the day when Lord Shiva's son, Muruga, was given command to the celestial forces to vanquish three Asura demons. A wild orgy of body piercings - cheeks, tongues and lips are all skewered, often multiple times - this fascinating festival can be a mind-spinning sight for a first-timer. 

Devotees take approximately 48 days to prepare for the festival, which takes place mid-January to mid-February, when the moon is full in the 10th Tamil month of the Thai calendar. They undertake special diets and cleansing routines, sleep on the floor and practice regular prayer. 

Thaipusam takes place deep in the Batu Caves. Thousands of people flock here to give thanks to Muruga, the Hindu god of war. Inside, you will find monkeys scampering and bouding up the 272 steps into Temple Cave, the vast main cavern that houses a golden statue of Muruga. The caves were 'officially' discovered some 120 years ago by American naturalist William Hornaday.

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