The Thaipusam Festival
When we landed in Penang, we were told by the taxi driver that we have come at an amzing time. The three day festival of thaipesum is happening and we have to take part and see the celebrations.
WARNING: This post has a lot of photos, but try to see them all as it will give you a great feeling of the atmosphere of the festival.
On the first day is when the pilgrimage begins and devotees will start the walk from; in this case Georgetown; to the temple. This isn’t a long way but the walk is slow. there are two chariots that begin their journey from Georgetown. One gold and one silver. they chariots stop every so often to receive gifts from the devotees to be blessed by Lord Muragan.
before the chariot move along the road, blessed coconuts are thrown in the streets, if they break, it is good luck. The quickly clean up the coconuts so that the devotess walking on the path dont cut their barefeet.
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I had a chance to throw a coconut and luckily it did break when I threw it. Kris also had a chance to throw a bunch and they all broke.
As you walk along the way, there are many stands handing out free drink and food to the devotees and the spectators. All of the food was so tasty.
After spending some time in Georgetown watching the profession we headed home for a break before heading out again.
Just before the temple, there is a big road where they have set up the shrines to pray to. This is a street full of wonderful music, dancers, colourful people, food and drink. It was such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Many people came up to us to chat and to tell us about this amazing festival.
We had some wonderful Indian food with some tasty sweets.
The next evening we headed out again to watch the end of the pilgrimage to the temple. This is the devotees who take the long walk to the temple to show their devotion. They each carry a person temple on their backs and they had a few people around them protecting them from the crowd and helping them when needed. As we were watching them coming to the end of their journey, you could see the exhaustion in their eyes. Some seemed to be in a trance just focusing on getting to the temple.
By this time it had got extremely crowded and we decided to head home early.
What an amazing experienced we had.
Have a look at my post about areas to stay in Penang.