150,000 join Thaipusam procession

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 Jan 2003

IPOH: More than 150,000 devotees joined those carrying kavadis in a procession through the streets here to celebrate Thaipusam with offerings of coconuts, flowers and milk yesterday. 

Religious music, drum beats and shouts of “vel vel” filled the air as some 400 kavadi bearers, their body pierced with an array of sharp objects, followed the silver chariot of Lord Muruga from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Sungei Pari to Gunung Cheroh Sri Subramaniar temple in Jalan Raja Musa Aziz. 

The procession passed through Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Lahat, Jalan Sultan Yusuff, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah and Jalan Dato Onn Jaafar before arriving at the Gunung Cheroh Sri Subramaniar Temple. 

The chariot will make its way back to the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at 6pm today. 

Thaipusam is a time for penance and atonement of sins as well as fulfilment of vows for the Hindus. 

Through the years, it has become a tourist attraction, drawing foreigners such as a group of 10 engineers from Germany who watched the procession with their cameras clicking away. 

“This is the first time I’m watching something like this and it is truly amazing,'' said Michael Pollenger, 41. 

Among those who made offerings at the Gunung Cheroh Sri Subramaniar Temple was Buntong assemblyman and Deputy Speaker Datuk Yik Phooi Hong. 

In Johor Baru, thousands of devotees in saffron-coloured clothes braved a morning downpour to gather at the Sri Mariamman Temple in Jalan Ungku Puan, Sri Muneshwaran Temple in Tampoi and Thendayuthapanzi Temple in Jalan Kuel. 

At the Sri Muneshwaran Temple, the devotees carrying the kavadis walked 4km to a river to “wash” their sins away.  

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