Hundreds take part in Chitraparuvam fest

GEORGE TOWN: The dark clouds failed to dampen the spirit of hundreds of Hindu devotees, who turned up at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Lebuh Queen to celebrate the annual Chitraparuvam Festival.

The festival, which is also known as Chithirai Pournami, saw many devotees walking barefoot on a 6km journey following the chariot bearing the statue of Lord Muruga to the Sri Bala Thandayuthapani Hilltop Temple at Waterfall Road.

Pulled by two bulls, the chariot left the temple at 7.20pm on Friday and passed through Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Victoria, Jalan Magazine, Jalan Datuk Keramat and Jalan Utama before arriving at the hilltop temple at around 5am yesterday.

Earlier, prayers were held at the temple before devotees brought out the deity's statue and lifted it onto the 6.7m-high chariot.

Numerous trays bearing fruits and flowers could be seen carried by devotees as a show of gratitude to Lord Muruga.

Hindu Mahajana Sangam chairman M. Nelamegam said the festival celebrated the first full moon after the Tamil New Year, which is in the month of Chithirai, which usually begins in mid-April.

“The festival, which is also referred to as mini Thaipusam', was first celebrated in Penang more than 70 years ago by Indian migrant workers who came to the country,” he said.

Today, the chariot will leave the hilltop temple at 8pm and is expected to arrive at the Lebuh Queen temple tomorrow morning.

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