The Thaipusam Festival is one of the most famous and colorful annual Hindu festivals, which is traditionally celebrated in January or February. According to a legend, on this day, Shiva’s wife the goddess Parvati presented her son Murugan a spear, with which he defeated evil spirits. Therefore, festival’s main idea is celebration of victory of good over evil.
The Thaipusam Festival is renowned throughout the world for the ritual dance Kavadi. Thousands of believers participate in it. They pierce their faces and bodies with various sharp objects as sacrificial offering. It is believed that such self-torture helps to avoid troubles during the year. Those festival’s participants who don’t dare to do such a corporal punishment bring paper bags with milk and pots with rice and honey as an offering. They are put on the moving altar that is specially made for the festival.
The spectacular procession moves along Kuala Lumpur’s streets and ends near the famous Batu Caves. Surmounting 272 stairs, believers go up to the cave temple and leave their offerings at the foot of the Murugan statue.