Big faith at mini Thaipusam

Devotees seeking blessings approach the chariot with trays filled with fruits, coconuts and other offerings.

THE annual Chitraparuvam Festival, also known as mini Thaipusam, saw devotees clad in traditional attire praying for a better year ahead.

Hindu Mahajana Sangam chairman M. Neelamegam said the three-day festival drew a huge crowd of about 100,000 devotees and visitors to the hilltop Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple in Penang.

Neelamegam said a Maheswara Pooja (prayer session) was held at noon on April 21.

This was followed by a vegetarian lunch at the Gandhiji Ashram hall and a vegetarian dinner served later that night at the same hall.

“The statue of Lord Muruga was also taken on a procession around the temple premises at 8pm,” he said.

On April 22, devotees and onlookers filled the streets for the return journey of the chariot.

The journey started from the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple in Waterfall Road at 9.30pm.

The chariot made its journey from Kebun Bunga Road, passing through various roads such as Macalister Road, Burma Road, Penang Road and Chulia Street.

It also stopped at various panthal (refreshment stalls) along the way.

Besides offerings of fruits and flowers, devotees also broke coconuts.

The chariot reached the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at about 7am the next morning.

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