February 06, 2012
Magh Shukla Chaturdashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5113
GEORGE TOWN, Borneo: More than 100,000 Hindu devotees thronged the 10 km procession from the Kovil Veedum temple in Jalan Penang to Nattukottai Chettiar temple in Jalan Kebun Bunga to fulfil their vows here yesterday, on the eve of Thaipusam.
The ‘Velli Ratham’ or silver chariot bearing Lord Murugan which left the temple at 6.30 am stopped at intervals along the way to allow devotees to break coconuts before the deity as a symbol of thanksgiving.
Hundreds of thousands of coconuts were piled up along the route, to be broken as a form of thanksgiving for successes achieved and vows fulfilled.
Devotees also carried ‘archenai’ which are prayer offerings of coconut, fruit, flowers and money on trays.
A Bernama survey along Jalan Magazine and Datuk Keramat yesterday, found the atmosphere calm and controlled.
Due to this year’s celebration falling on a public holiday, the area was crowded with people from all walks of life including tourists who came to witness this major festival.
American tourist Guston S. Remkin, 24, took the opportunity to break a few coconuts as a symbolic gesture to invoke blessings.
“This is my first time doing this (breaking the coconut) to experience the spirit of this festival. Hopefully God will bless me,” he said to reporters.
Another visitor, from Canada, Pauline, 27, even had her head shaved bald as a mark of respect for Thaipusam.
“My friends and I shaved our hair and gathered with the people here since 10 am to experience this unique and colourful festival,” she said. — Bernama
Source: The Borneo Post