Tens of thousands join Thaipusam festival in Malaysia


Tens of thousands of Malaysians made their way to the Batu Caves temple on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in the country for the annual Thaipusam festival which commemorates the birth of the Hindu god, Lord Murugan.

For the past three years, the Thaipusam festival has been either called off or severely restricted due to curbs imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

This year saw devotees being allowed to resume their traditional rituals which include celebrants piercing their skin with metal hooks and rods and carrying heavy artifacts up the steps to the temple, located in a limestone cave.

Others fulfilled their vows to the deity by carrying pots of milk.

The festival originated in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu but is observed in Malaysia and Singapore by the Tamil communities there. Hinduism is practiced by 6.3 percent of Malaysia’s 31 million population.