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Hindus in Malaysia and Singapore celebrate Thaipusam festival

Hindus in Malaysia and Singapore celebrate Thaipusam festival
During the festival, celebrated in India, Malaysia, Singapore and other areas with significant Hindu Tamil communities, many display their devotion by bearing decorated frames, called “kavadi”, which are fixed to a person’s body using sharp metal spikes dug into their flesh in a form of penance.

According to Hindu mythology, the festival celebrates the day when goddess Pavarthi gave her son Lord Murugan a lance to slay evil demons. In Malaysia’s Penang state, thousands of devotees converged at Balathandayuthapani Hilltop Temple. Some, gathered since yesterday, stayed the night at various hotels.

The devotees also gathered at the Natukotai Chettiar Temple in George Town.

The crowd was thickest at the half-a-kilometre route leading to the temple, with more than 300,000 devotees making their way to present offerings.

Many devotees took part in a 15-km procession of a silver chariot from a Kuala Lumpur temple to the spectacular hilltop Batu Caves, where the final stretch is capped by 272 steps, to reach the Murugan temple.

With a population of 28 million, the Muslim majority Malaysia is home to 8 per cent ethnic Indians, mostly Hindu Tamils.

In Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean joined the more than 10,000 Hindu devotees to celebrate the festival.

Teo visited Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road in Little India -- a precinct of Indian-origin establishments -- and?Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on the outskirts of the Central Business District. About 280 kavadi bearers and over 10,000 other Hindu devotees carrying milk pots participated in the procession.

The devotees comprised of mostly Indian Hindus living in Singapore, while tourists snapped pictures during the annual procession that lasts for 24 hours.
Agencies

Agencies

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