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Published: Tuesday April 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 1:19:12 AM

Hindus gather for chariot procession and fire walking ceremony

Annual affair: Devotees dancing during the chariot procession at the Arulmigu Sri Ruthra Veeramuthu Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple, Air Itam.

Annual affair: Devotees dancing during the chariot procession at the Arulmigu Sri Ruthra Veeramuthu Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple, Air Itam.

HUNDREDS of devotees thronged the Arulmigu Sri Ruthra Veeramuthu Maha Mariamman Devasthanam Temple in Air Itam, Penang, for its annual chariot procession ceremony.

The silver chariot, which was pulled by two cows, passed through several areas in the Air Itam vicinity including Kampung Baru, Rifle Range, Kampung Pisang and Thean Teik Estate during the 9am ceremony on Sunday.

Many devotees could be seen dancing as the chariot passed by.

Numerous trays bearing fruits and flowers were also carried by the devotees, who also broke coconuts as the chariot passed by.

Teacher P. Selvi, 28, from Juru, said she was excited to come here as it was her first time attending the procession in Air Itam.

“I usually attend the grand Thaipusam celebrations in Jalan Kebun Bunga. I came with my friends to watch and also to pray for good luck and health,” she added.

Thousands of devotees later attended the fire walking ceremony in the night.

The temple was where the first fire walking ceremony was held in 1898 and the event has been drawing devotees from near and far to the temple annually, since then.

The temple, which was founded in 1896, was originally an attap-roofed structure where Hindu devotees in Air Itam congregated to worship ‘Goddess Mariamman’.

The attap-roofed structure was later replaced with a wooden one.

The temple, which was built with a 9.1m-high five-tier gopuram (entrance tower), was designed after a South Indian temple.

The statues of the 10 main idols (Mariamman, Vinayagar, Murugan, Tachinamurthy, Durga, Arasimaram Vinayagar, Nagamal, Navakeragam, Muniswaran and Periachi Amman) were brought from India.

Tags / Keywords: Community, News, Religion, chariot, air itam

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