By RAJESWARI KANDIAHrajes@thestar.com.my
MASI MAGAM is an annual festival that takes place on the full moon day in the month of Masi in the Hindu calendar.
This usually falls in February or March.
The Subramania Swamy Temple management in Teluk Pulai, Klang, will be celebrating the festival on March 13 this year.
Prior to the culmination, wherein a bedecked Lord Murugan will be taken on a ceremonial procession around Klang, the temple priests are conducting special prayers for 10 days.
For these 10 days, devotees take part in the obeyams, which entail a lengthy ceremony in which offerings are made to the deity and manthras or holy verses are recited.
On the last day, a sangaabishegam is conducted in the morning and this is followed by a vegetarian lunch for the devotees.
In the evening, the deity Lord Murugan, also known as Subra-maniyar, Skanda and Kartikkeya, among others, is placed in a chariot resplendent with coloured lights and flowers and taken around town.
The procession is accompanied by musicians playing traditional Indian instruments like the drum and nadhaswaram.
It is a joyous occasion and the devotees, who believe worshipping Lord Muruga bestows on them material and spiritual prosperity as well as success in all their undertakings, make offerings when the chariot makes a stop at their homes.
“Lord Murugan's devotees pay homage in many ways. Some offer items like garlands and fruits to the deity, while some provide light food and drinks to the crowd following the procession. Usually, traditional delicacies are served,” said temple president Dr R. Visvalingam.
“Also, some devotees whose wishes are granted break coconuts to express their gratitude,” he said.
Temple committee member P. Yogarajah said the chariot would leave the temple grounds at 6pm on its designated route.
“This festival is being celebrated with pomp and ceremony befitting the temple, which is one of the oldest in Klang,” he said, adding that the chariot would be brought back to the temple by midnight.
The chariot carrying the deity was crafted by skilled craftsmen from Sri Lanka in 1989 and it has been going on its annual procession since 12 years ago.
Lord Muruga's symbolic vehicle or Vahana is the peacock and is a representation that he has completely conquered pride, egoism and vanity, while the vel, or spear, that he holds in his hand is an emblem of power.