Date: 8 to 10 February 2017
Venue: Lebuh Penang and Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temple (Waterfall Hilltop temple), Jalan Kebun Bunga
Thaipusam is celebrated during the full moon of the 10th month in the Hindu calendar and is normally held during the last week of January or the beginning of February for a few days. During this celebration, a pilgrimage procession takes place to bring the statue of Lord Muruga on a silver chariot led by more than 60 kavadis from Little India to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani temple atop the hill of Jalan Kebun Bunga.
The tradition of breaking of coconuts is carried out the day before to ‘clean’ the roads for this divine journey. The devotees then go through a physical endurance of being skewered and pierced on the back and front of their bodies as an act of penance. Thunderous loud music, singing, dancing and the beating of drums of devotional songs are the norm during this festival. Upon reaching the temple, devotees will fulfill their vows, offer thanksgiving prayers and do penance as required.
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Date: 8th Feb 2017, Wed
Location: Little India to Jalan Dato Keramat
The ceremonial worship of Hindu’s celebrated deity, Lord Muruga will begin with a silver chariot procession led by kavadis adorned with peacock features. The procession begins from Little India (6am) to the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple (ends at midnight).
Along the procession routes, coconuts are smashed onto the ground to fulfill sacred vows. The best place to catch the coconut smashing spectacle is on Jalan Dato Keramat, in front of Penang Times Square. Standby for the procession from 12noon onwards.
Date: 9th Feb 2017, Thurs
Location: Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple to Waterfall Hilltop Temple
Religiously performed on Thaipusam Day, devotees will have their bodies pierced with hooks and spears as an act of penance. The piercing ceremony of the kavadi bearerswill take place at the Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple on Lorong Kulit (beside Rapid Penang office) from 3am onwards. The uphill journey to the new Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple (Waterfall Hilltop Temple) will begin right after. The best time to view the kavadis is from 3pm onwards. The final and bigger kavadi will climb up to the temple at 9.30pm.
Other devotees will also fullfil their vows by carrying Paal Kudam (milk pots) up to the Waterfall Hilltop Temple. The journey begins from Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple or the Shree Muniswarar Temple (at the junction of Jalan Utama, Jalan Kebun Bunga and Jalan Gottlieb).
For free refreshments and vegetarian food, visit one of the 130 festively decorated Thaneer Panthals (make shift stalls) along the pilgrimage route. More stalls are placed along Jalan Utama to Jalan Air Terjun (Waterfall Road).
The Day after Thaipusam
Date: 10th Feb 2017, Fri
Location: Kovil Veedu temple house to Nattukottai Chettiar Temple
The Silver Chariot of Lord Muruga makes a return trip from the Nattukottai Chettiar Temple (6pm) to the Kovil Veedu temple house on Lebuh Penang via a different route. The chariot is expected to reach at dawn, on the next day accompanied by the coconut smashing ritual and offerings of fruits, flowers and incense on a Thaambalam (big silver plate)
THAIPUSAM 2017 – GOLDEN CHARIOT ‘VEL’ PROCESSION
The Golden Chariot bearing the ‘VEL’ will leave the Queen Street Maha Mariamman temple on Wednesday 8th Feb 2017 at 5.00am and is expected to arrive at the Hilltop Murugan temple at around 11.00pm.
The return journey for the ‘VEL’ on the Golden Chariot will commence from the Hilltop Murugan Temple on Friday, 10th February 2017 at 5.00pm enroute to the Queen Street Maha Mariamman temple and expected to arrive at the 7.00am.
The route for the procession will be as follow:
8th Feb 2017 – Wednesday, 5.00am
Queen Street (Sri Maha Mariamman Temple) – Chulia Street – Victoria Street – Jalan Prangin – Jalan Magazine – Jalan Dato Kramat – Jalan Utama – Jalan Air Terjun (Hilltop Murugan Temple).
10th Feb 2017 – Friday, 5.00pm
Jalan Air Terjun (Hilltop Murugan Temple) – Jalan Gottlip – Jalan Air Rajah – Jalan Macalister – Jalan Anson – Jalan Burma – Jalan Transfer – Jalan Sri Bahari – Jalan Penang – Jalan Campbell – Pitt Street – China Street – Beach Street – Market Street – Queen Street (Sri Maha Mariamman Temple)