Millions of Tamil Hindus residing in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Fiji, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and other countries are celebrating Thaipusam 2015 with grandeur and vigour. The devotees throng the temples to commemorate the victory of Lord Murugan over Asuras (demons).
Lord Muruga, who is described in fables as the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi is considered to be the embodiment of Shiva's light and wisdom. Devotees believe that praying to him will vanquish all evil in their life.
Thaipusam, as the mythology goes, marks the day when Paravathy gave her son the iconic vel (spear), which gave him the name 'Vel Murugan'. He is said to have used the vel to kill the evil demon Soorapadma.
During the festival of Thaipusam, devotees dance in the temple premises and roads while bearing decorated frames, called "kavadi". They also pierce their bodies with shark metal spikes, hooks and skewers.
In Malaysia, the celebrations centre around Batu caves complex; the travel to the caves is considered a pilgrimage by most Hindus. According to Bangkok Post, many devotees also accompany the silver chariot in its 15 km-journey from a temple in the city centre to the Batu caves.
In Singapore, Thaipusam is not just celebrated by Hindus. Channel News Asia reports that people of all races and religions congregate at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple. One of the chief guests of the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean, said, "Thaipusam is deeply meaningful for the devotees and is a part of our multi-racial, multi-religious landscape in Singapore, marked by mutual respect, mutual understanding."
Meanwhile in India, thousand of devotees flock to Palani in Tamil Nadu and attend the Kavadi.
The festival which runs for 10 days is expected to be celebrated in an elaborate manner in the days following as well.