Thaipusam Festival Date 2024 January 25

Thaipusam, also known as Thaipooyam or Thai Poosam, is a major Hindu festival celebrated mainly by the Tamils in South India. Thaipusam festival commemorates the birthday of Lord Murugan or Lord Subramanya and the occasion when Goddess Parvati gave Murugan a Vel (spear) to defeat the evil demon Soorapadman. 

Thaipusam Festival Date 2024 January 25

Thai Pusam festival falls on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Thai (mid January - mid February). Thai refers to the Tamil month and Pusam (Pushya) refers to one of the 27 asterisms. As a result of migration,  the Tamil community settled in Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and elsewhere around the world are also celebrating Thaipusam now a days with greater joy and enthusiasm. Thaipusam is celebrated by Kerala Tamils as Thaipooyam. In 2024, the date of Thaipusam Festival is 25 January, Thursday. 

Significance of Thaipusam Festival

Thai Poosam is regarded as the most powerful day to pray the Lord for getting rid of enemies, diseases and debts.

Thaipusam Festival Celebrations – Kavadi Attam

Devotees make offerings to Lord Muruga for removing their troubles and the most important rite that a devotee undertakes is the Kavadi. Kavadi Attam is made of two semi-circular pieces of wood or steel which are curved and attached to a cross structure, balanced on the shoulders of the devotee. It is decorated with flowers and peacock feathers.  

Persons who take Kavadi should perform intricate ceremonies at the time of taking the Kavadi and at the time of offering it to the Lord. They should follow the rules of Brahmacharya and take only pure vegetarian food, once a day.

Thaipusam Festival at Batu Caves Murugan Temple

Several devotees of Lord Murugan offer fruits and flowers of yellow or orange color and they also adorn dresses of the same color. You can see some devotees walk barefoot from home to one of the temples of Lord Muruga, carrying the Kavadi. Some devotees involve in piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with Vel skewers.

Legends of Thaipusam Festival

There are a number of legends associated with this festival.

According to one legend, Lord Muruga killed the demon, Tarakasura, on this day and hence Thai Poosam is celebrated to commemorate this event.

Another legend, associated with Kavadi, tells about testing the spirit of Idumban, the student of Sage Agasthya, by Lord Muruga.

Read Story of Idumban associated with Kavadi Aattam

Thai Pusam Festival in Murugan Temples

The temples dedicated to Lord Muruga, especially the ‘Arupadai Veedu in Tamilnadu’ (six holy abodes), bear a festive look on Thai Poosam day.

However, Thaipusam festival at Palani Temple is well-renowned than any other Murugan temples. In Palani, Thaipusam is celebrated as a ten-day festival in a grand manner. Large numbers of devotees flock here and carry Kavadi.

The Murugan Temple at Batu Caves, near Kuala Lumpur, attracts millions of devotees during this occasion. The procession starts at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, and continues for 15 kilometers to the caves, concluding in a flight of 272 steps to the top.

Kukke Subramanya Temple in Karnataka and Thiruchendur Murugan Temple in Thiruchendur also celebrates Thaipooyam festival with much religious importance.

At Udayanapuram Subramanya Temple in Vaikom of Kerala, Thaipusam festival is conducted with Kavadis, wherein the devotees take Panchamritha Kavadi, Paal Kaavadi and Bhasma Kavadi. 

The Utsava moorthy (procession idol) is taken in procession on a vahanam (mount) at the Satyavageeswara Temple located in Karamana of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. A ritual called Nel (Paddy) Parai Alappu or Nel alavu, is performed for prosperity.


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