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CELEBRATING THAIPUSAM

ABOUT THAIPUSAM


The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. Thaipusam is celebrated on the full moon day in the Tamil month of “Thai”.

Thaipusam is a thanksgiving festival that involves asceticism and control over one’s senses. It is a day for devotees to celebrate the fulfilment of their vows.

In Singapore, this religious festival attracts thousands of Hindu devotees who fulfil their vows through a 4km walk from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (SSPT) to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple (STT).

Thaipusam in Singapore

The activities associated with Thaipusam festival last for two days at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple and at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple.




1st Day (Eve of Thaipusam)

At Sri Thendayuthapani Temple

The main event of the day before Thaipusam is a chariot procession in which Sri Murugan leaves the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple for a day's visit to His brother Sri Vinayagar at Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple (Keong Saik Road).

One of the most important places where the chariot makes a stop is at Sri Mariamman Temple (South Bridge Road). Sri Murugan is said to greet the Goddess within, as She is a manifestation of Goddess Parvathi, His mother. The chariot continues to its destination at the Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple where Sri Murugan is ceremonially carried from the chariot and installed inside the temple.

In the evening, the chariot with Sri Murugan returns back to the Thendayuthapani Temple and members of the Chettiar community carry kavadis and this is often referred to as "Chetty Poosam".

2nd Day (Thaipusam Day )

Activities on the second day, start very early in the morning. Prayers are conducted and just after midnight, the first group of devotees carrying milk pot offerings leave for Sri Thendayuthapani Temple.

Other devotees carrying kavadis start their preparation and leave the temple soon after. There is a constant stream of devotees making their way with offerings until 7.00pm in the evening.

Thousands of devotees make their way through the prescribed route to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. On their arrival at the centre aisle of the main sanctum, they present their milk pots. Milk offered by devotees are collected and poured over the Vel. Devotees who complete their vows will receive sacred ash.

 

 

 

Information for Devotees


The comfort and safety of devotees are a primary concern at a festival like Thaipusam, which runs a whole day and takes devotees from one temple to another through busy streets. Therefore, devotees are advised to move along the procession route at a steady pace and comply with directions given by volunteer route marshals. Devotees are kindly advised to follow traffic rules when on the streets and help maintain public order.

Points to Note

  • Free food and drinks will be distributed to all devotees at SSPT on the eve and actual day of Thaipusam. Annathanam will also be available on the day of the Thaipusam between 12.30pm and 3.00pm at STT.
  • All devotees who purchase a participation ticket for Thaipusam will be given free a booklet on Thaipusam and a free CD of Murugan bhajans.
  • Devotees are encouraged to be attired appropriately. Painting of faces or bodies and wearing any form of disguise is not in keeping with Thaipusam practices.
  • Anyone below the age of 16 years is only allowed to carry a Paal Kudam or a Paal Kavadi. Piercing of hooks and spikes for persons below the age of 16 years is not allowed.
  • Participants carrying any form of Kavadi are requested to assemble and dismantle their Kavadis at the designated areas at SSPT and STT respectively.
  • All Spike and Chariot Kavadis leaving SSPT will be tagged by temple officials and the tag must be retained until it is removed by temple officials at STT.
  • Every Spike or Chariot Kavadi bearer accompanied by an entourage, shall nominate one adult (above 21 years old) from that entourage as the Kavadi Representative to act as liaison with the Temples in case of an emergency. Kavadi bearers and representatives would be required to sign an acknowledgement at the time of purchasing participation tickets.
  • Kavadi bearers engaging musical parties are kindly reminded that the playing of musical instruments should only be confined to within the grounds of Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Special provisions have been made along the procession route for LIVE and transmitted music. There will be 2 LIVE music points with nadaswaram/thavil musicians and 1 LIVE music point with urumi melam musicians (subject to availability). In addition, along the Thaipusam procession route there will be 7 music transmission points playing Kavadi Songs. With music provided by the organisers along the procession route, kavadi bearers need not engage and pay for additional music.
  • Devotees are requested to enter and leave SSPT for the Thaipusam procession as follows
    Service Entering SSPT Leaving SSPT
    Paal Kudam 23/1/2016
    8.00pm onwards
    24/1/2016
    12.05am onwards
    Paal Kavadi 23/1/2016
    8.00pm onwards
    24/1/2016
    12.05am onwards
    Thottil Kavadi 23/1/2016
    8.00pm onwards
    24/1/2016
    12.05am onwards
    Ratha (Chariot) Kavadi 24/1/2016
    2.00am onwards to 11.00am
    (through Race Course Road entrance)
    24/1/2016
    3.00am to 12 noon
    Alagu (Spike) Kavadi – AM 24/1/2016
    2.00am onwards to 11.00am
    (through Race Course Road entrance)
    24/1/2016
    3.00am to 12 noon
    Alagu (Spike) Kavadi – PM 24/1/2016
    9.00am to 5.00pm
    (through Race Course Road entrance)
    (This entrance closes at 5.00pm)
    24/1/2016
    12.00 noon to 7.00pm
  • Devotees performing vows are encouraged to arrive and leave the temple by the stipulated times stated above to prevent congestion and delay to the procession. With a 24-hour period set aside for Hindu devotees to fulfill their vows, there is ample time for Thaipusam devotees to complete their various vows. Devotees, especially Kavadi bearers, are encouraged to start their walk of faith latest by 7.00pm from SSPT.
  • Devotees are required to clear their used prayer materials before they leave SSPT to join the procession. Likewise, devotees completing their vows at STT are requested to keep the temple premises free of litter.
  • Devotees are advised not to consume alcoholic beverages and smoke during the Thaipusam procession.
  • Devotees with medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or asthma and those who may have undergone treatment for heart conditions are kindly requested to refrain from strenuous kavadi penances. We kindly request you to seek the advice of your doctor on this matter.

Important Note:

  • Crowds build up from 8.00pm on the eve of Thaipusam to 2.00am on Thaipusam day at SSPT. Devotees are encouraged to fulfil their vows at a later time, if possible, and avoid the early morning rush.
  • Ratha and Alagu Kavadi bearers are kindly requested not to secure places with their Kavadis on the gounds of SSPT the day before Thaipusam. Doing so will limit the space required by the batches of Paal Kudam devotees (mainly ladies and children) assembling at SSPT from 12.00am on Thaipusam day. AM Kavadi bearers coming early on the eve of Thaipusam should only place their Kavadis inside the tented area along Race Course Road and enter SSPT grounds after the first few batches of Paal Kudam devotees leave at around 1.30am.
  • After the first few batches of Paal Kudam devotees leave for STT from 12.05am, the organisers will carry out a quick clean-up of the grounds of SSPT. Devotees are therefore urged to be patient and follow the official announcements regarding movement in and out of SSPT.

Participation

Tickets for Thaipusam-related services can be purchased at the times & locations listed below.

Type of Service Cost Place To Purchase Ticket Time Date
Paal Kudam $15 SSPT/ STT 8.00am to 12 noon
5.30pm to 8.30pm
12.00am to 4.00pm
24.12.2015 - 23.01.2016

24.01.2016
Paal Kavadi $30 SSPT/ STT 8.00am to 12 noon
5.30pm to 8.30pm
12.00pm to 4.00pm
24.12.2015 - 23.01.2016

24.01.2016
Thottil Kavadi $30 SSPT/ STT 8.00am to 12 noon
5.30pm to 8.30pm
12.00pm to 4.00pm
24.12.2015 - 23.12.2015

24.01.2016
Ratha (Chariot) Kavadi $75 SSPT/ STT


ONLY AT SSPT
8.00am to 12 noon
5.30pm to 8.30pm

8.00am to 12 noon
5.30pm to 8.30pm
24.12.2015 to 21.01.2016


22/1/2016 to 23/1/2016
Alagu (Spike) Kavadi (both AM and PM) $75 SSPT/ STT


ONLY AT SSPT
8.00am to 12 noon
5.30pm to 8.30pm

8.00am to 12 noon
5.30pm to 8.30pm
24.12.2015 to 21.01.2016


22/1/2016 to 23/1/2016

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (SSPT) / Sri ThendayuthapaniTemple (STT)

There are only limited PM Kavadis and participation is based on a first come first served basis. Please note that all Kavadi ticket sales on the last three days before Thaipusam will be at SSPT only. No participation ticket sales on Thaipusam day (24 January 2016).

Paal Kudam participants will be issued 2 pieces of numbered stickers. They are requested to place one of the stickers on their Paal Kudam and produce the other to collect their Kudam after the Paal Abishegam at STT.

Procession Route

Event Locations

  • Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (SSPT)
    397 Serangoon Road
    Singapore, 218123
  • Call Us
    6298 5771
  • Email Us
    sspt@heb.gov.sg
  • Sri Thendayuthapani Temple (STT)
    Sri Thendayuthapani Temple (STT)
    Singapore, 238065
  • Call Us
    6737 9393
  • Email Us
    chtemple@singnet.com.sg

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