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Thaipusam Festival - warning image heavy

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Richella, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    After living in Kuala Lumpur for just a little more than 4 years I decided that it was about time I made the effort to go to the big Thiapusam festival at the Batu Caves. I've contemplated on several previous years but stories of huge over-crowding and massive traffic jams had always put me off previously. So I set off tis morning 7:30am sharp. To my pleasant surprise there was very little traffic and the journey from home took less than 15 minutes. On arrival the sights and sound were quite incredible.

    Thaipusam sees Hindu devotees seeking blessings, fulfilling vows and offering thanks. The festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who represents virtue, youth and power, and is the destroyer of evil.

    Kavadi (cavadee) is a dance performed by the devotees during the ceremonial worship of Murugan, the Tamil God of War. It is often performed during the festival of Thaipusam. The Kavadi itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from the God Murugan. Generally, Hindus take a vow to offer a kavadi to idol for the purpose of tiding over or averting a great calamity. For instance, if the devotee's son is laid up with a fatal disease, he would pray to Shanmuga to grant the boy a lease of life in return for which the devotee would take a vow to dedicate a kavadi to Him.

    Devotees prepare for the celebration by cleansing themselves through prayer and fasting approximately 48 days before Thaipusam. Kavadi-bearers have to perform elaborate ceremonies at the time of assuming the kavadi and at the time of offering it to Murugan. The kavadi-bearer observes celibacy and take only pure, Satvik food, once a day, while continuously thinking of God. On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common.

    The simplest kavadi is a semicircular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders, to the temple. In addition, some have a small spear through their tongue, or a spear through the cheeks. The spear pierced through his tongue or cheeks reminds him constantly of Lord Murugan. It also prevents him from speaking and gives great power of endurance.

    I took my E-M1 with he fantastic 12-40mm f2.8 and the even better 75mm f1.8. I really wish I had taken my new 40-150mm f2.8 but I was trying to travel really light. The 75mm was a bit too long for the close quarter action.


    I hope you enjoy the photos. If you would like to see more head over to my site http://www.richardella.com/Events/Thaipusam-2015/

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