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thaipusam piercing no blood

The Americans went crazy for the Super Wolf Blood Moon. Well, technically, Thaipusam Festival (or Thai Poosam) doesn’t have to be that radical! In Malaysia, the Thaipusam Festival is celebrated on the 17 th January 2014, a day of the full moon. Enthusiast. The exact dates change every year depending on the alignment of the star and the moon. Surprisingly, there is no blood. Many walked this route barefoot, in a true spirit of prayer and penance. The macaque monkeys, who are usually operating in significant numbers at the Batu Caves staircase, during Thaipusam hide away. Thaipusam tourism was clearly resting on the attraction created by extreme bodies. Read more and find out how to contact us on About page. Kavadi bearers cannot do it alone. Body piercers claim they can perform such piercings and much more without causing pain and even without blood. Prakash additionally got the chains of his 40-kilos heavy Kavadi pierced and hooked for the skin of his back and chest. We heard tales of spikes pierced through participants’ skin with no pain or blood and trance-like states. When the kavadi bearer arrives at the foot of the 272-step stairway leading up to the Temple Cave, the devotee has to make the arduous climb. On the banks of the Sungai Batu river at the base of the Batu Caves hill, people started to gather early on Thaipusam morning. The face of devotion. A teardrop leaving the corner of the eye showed the extremity of endurance their bodies went through, but their memory would not describe the pain. Today we travel back to Penang, to share with you our experience of Thaipusam, Malaysia’s biggest Hindu festival. Thaipusam is a celebration of family, of togetherness. Two men, whose skin arched from their backs as the hooks strained against dozens of ropes and chains, even shook in ecstasy, lost in a spiritual trance. In Muruga trance, these believers became warriors too, the invincible ones. Sprinkled by lime juice and flower petals, they fell into a state that seemed dramatic. All the while, their family members were encouraging them by yelling in unison: “Vel, vel! Armed with their phones and cameras, they were queuing for taking pictures almost like paparazzi at some Hollywood red carpet. We had planned to leave Penang after the Chinese year celebrations, however when we heard about Thaipusam in Penang, we extended our stay. Download this stock image: A Hindu devotee piercing hooks to body in Thaipusam - KX9761 from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. Supported by their family’s cheering voices, Prakash (24), his sister Vickneswary (27), their father Govindarajoo (53) and some friends of the family, surrendered to the penetrating pins. Taking place every January or February, Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated by the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, India, Singapore and Mauritius. She recalled a history of piercing with a metal spear through her cheeks during Thaipusam, about 15 years ago (Fig. Other people will push the frame with the devotees hanging, all the way until he reaches Lord Murugan. Holy ash at the site of the piercings, along with fasting and meditation, stems the flow. It is celebrated by some two million ethnic Indians in Malaysia and Singapore. Thaipusam falls during the full moon of the 10th month in the Hindu calendar, and each year around 10,000 spectators from around the world join religious revellers in celebration. As part of the rituals in the Hindu festival Thaipusam, participants engage in various acts of devotion -- including piercing their skin, tongue or cheeks. Prices and download plans . Walking to Batu Caves meant getting lost in the crowds of people taking photographs, barbers shaving pilgrims’ heads, cooks luring the fasters’ noses with appetizing smells, merchants selling anything from jewelry to fair ride tickets. The particular position of Earth between the Sun and the Moon made our satellite appear bloody red these days. Photo: Getty, From skewers though cheeks to sharp hooks embedded in backs, body piercers preparing pilgrims for Thaipusam have the Hindu festival’s most important job, They claim their subjects do not feel pain; in fact, they can be the ones who suffer. Thaipusam: Hooking the Flesh and Piercing the Body Thaipusam is the most fascinating festival you will ever witness. Many fanatical devotees go to such extent as to torture their bodies to appease the Lord. Many physically transformed. Thanks again WSE for enlightening me and piercing that bubble I seem to be trapped in! Copyright © 2020 Pipeaway, All Rights Reserved. I would encourage you all to read the information about this festival here. Consecrated ash is sprinkled over the hooks and skewers piercing the devotees' flesh before they are removed. Copyright ©2020, PIPEAWAY. The piercings are part of the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which celebrates faith, endurance and penance. Prakash got to chew some lime as an anesthetic as well. This year, I followed a family of Hindu pilgrims to Batu Caves, to witness Muruga trance from the very proximity. Indeed, why these people don’t get infected? Pipeaway's monthly newsletter is packed with inspiring stories from around the world! 9) At the same time, no blood comes out while making this hole, nor the marks of these holes remain. for the ship about to leave the harbor. Everyone is heavily pierced and strangely the piercing leads to no blood because it is believed that it happens due to the blessing of Lord. But nowhere celebrates Thaipusam as big as Malaysia. Some would attach ropes on the hooks and walk down the road while the holder of these reins would pull them back as if controlling the wild horse. Your email address will not be published. Its self-mutilating body practices are actually banned in India, as they believe that the body is the temple of the soul and therefore shouldn’t be harmed. This year, I followed a family of Hindu pilgrims to Batu Caves, to witness Muruga trance from the very proximity. I don’t know how the medicine would explain this risky exposure to infections, but it seemed that Thaipusam spirit overtook them. The piercings are said to inflict no pain as well as leave no scars (no blood is spilled during the process, which is well documented by many onlookers and photographers). We find out how, from inducing trances to fasting before piercing begins. One needed to save energy! When it's celebrated in Malaysia it's a dynamic, colourful, happy yet devotional event which can stretch for 3 or 4 … Batu Cave, Kuala Lumpur : Celebrated on the 10th month of the Hindu calendar, Thaipusam, which falls in January Body piercings for Thaipusam celebration. However, visitors to Batu Caves and Penang in Malaysia continually celebrate this annual Hindu festival by engaging in dramatic body piercing rituals that usually produce no blood. WIKIPEDIA It was winning it all! These portable altars are another way of showing devotion, as it is not an easy task to bring them up the 272 stairs to Batu Caves. Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur was a starting point where the pilgrims gathered to follow the Lord Murugan’s silver chariot to Batu Caves. I know they are in trance and all that. More than a million Hindus in Malaysia celebrated the colourful Thaipusam festival today by gathering at a temple in an offering to the deity Murugan, while many pierced their bodies with hooks. Once pierced and prepared, the devotees, in their state of trance, will make a pilgrimage to show their devotion to Murugan. Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia. These bodies have gone through so much in the previous month/s, that the completion of the walk is rather fascinating. The Thaipusam is not for the fainthearted but I decided to watch this ritual. No blood is shed during the piercing and removal. This was not my first visit to this extraordinary Batu Caves festival! Senior Member 845 posts Joined: Apr 2009 From: KL. Prior to this, some Thaipusam celebrations saw extreme practices like piercing the hooks onto the back of a devotee and hanging the devotee from a steel or wooden frame with tires. That bird was Lord Murugan’s vehicle, and pilgrims would typically use its feathers to decorate the Kavadi. Yashven Raj says that in his 10 years on the job, piercing bodies with sharp hooks will not usually draw blood. If you’ve been following the series of Thaipusam articles, you’ve probably seen the build up from the details surrounding the Hindu Festiva l, ... One question: are these old piercings…why no blood? The festival commemorates Lord Murugan’s victory over evil forces with a vel, or spear, which is why spears are a significant part of the festival. Some onlookers were genuinely shocked, some seemed somewhat fascinated. I happened to be just in the middle of the action. People there suggested me to go to Lorong Kulit because the piercing ritual was over. To see the piercings, go to the Sri Muthu Mariamman Temple on Lorong Kulit from daybreak to 11 am. Welcome to our first video, Sally & Erwin, life as artists. Bestselling Bookings of 2019 : 10 Countries to Discover in 2020, Angkor Wat Sunrise as a Nightmare : Cambodian Temple Rush, Songkran Festival in Cambodia : Throwing Water for Khmer New Year, Folsom Europe : Party for Pigs, Ponies, Puppies and Perverts Alike, Sziget Festival ultimate don’ts : 15 instructions on how not to be a jerk. Thaipusam Festival might be hard to watch. When prayers are answered, devotees fulfill vows by piercing parts of their body before carrying a kavadi along a four kilometre route. 16 hours of barefoot march Thaipusam is a day of celebration dedicated to the Hindu God Murugan, the son of Shiva … During the piercing process, devotees shed little to no blood and showed minimal pain. Men, women, even children got their tongues and cheeks skewered. The Hindu festival of Thaipusam commemorates the day when Goddess Pavarti gave her son Lord Muruga an invincible lance with which he destroyed evil demons. 10) For the devotees, the Thaipusam festival is a celebration of devotion to Lord Murugan. Founded and run by Ivan Kralj, Croatian award-winning journalist and editor. Thaipusam Festival 2019 at Batu Caves, Malaysia, photo by Ivan Kralj. They need the support! For their family, it is a moment of reunion. Many offerings are piling up into the hills of trash and fruit. He was participating in these rituals for 35 years now and claimed that rigorous preparations were a big part of the festival. The milky foam was leaking out of their mouth. Curiously, it is said that no blood is drawn while their skin is being penetrated with hooks and skewers. But physiologically, how does it make sense? The total lunar eclipse was not visible in Asia, but that didn’t stop millions to celebrate one of the most extreme Hindu festivals, always falling on the full moon of the Tamil month of Thai. A Hindu devotee having a skewer pierced into her cheek during the Thaipusam festival at Malaysia’s Batu Caves. A devotee showing no blood spill or anything after being pierced by the hooks all around the body during one of the Thaipusam … The long and sometimes thick spikes were penetrating their skin like butter. Sign in Sign up for FREE Prices and download plans Body Piercing on Thaipusam. A cure for someone, a curiosity for the others. In the following days however they will engage in a scavenging feast. Thaipusam Festival connects family members, young and old, close and distant, in the practice of the collective achievement. * pipe away ['paipǝ'wei] (vt, mar) = to give the whistling signal Many participants, clothed in Lord Murugan’s yellow and orange colors, also draped green neem leaves over their outfits or on their paal kodam. Body piercers claim they can perform such piercings … Consecrated ash is sprinkled over the hooks and skewers piercing the devotees' flesh before they are removed. Some were yelling like possessed, some were pounding their head with hand, some were jumping and dancing around, just occasionally being pulled back by their more present companions. They accompanied the pilgrims in reaching over the edge. They need the little cousin’s voice yelling the reassuring “Vel, vel!” into their ear, they need the mother’s hand to bring water to their lips, they need a helping push when climbing the steep stairs becomes unbearable, they need someone to carry a chair so they can rest at the middle of the path, they need someone to massage the tension out of their legs and back. Thaipusam Festival is a big Hindu festival celebrated by the Tamil community in Singapore. 1). For many believers, Thaipusam is a time of devotion, sacrifice and thanksgiving, dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan, who symbolises bravery, power and virtue. Many of these devotees even pull chariots and heavy objects with hooks attached to their bodies. The festival in 2010 was on Saturday, 30 January, and the prayers and body piercing activities at the temple started as early as 2am in the morning. The Malaysian Thaipusam is the biggest festival of its kind in the world, with more than 1.5 million pilgrims and tourists attending. Among the mementos of his time in the Far East I … This type of kavadis, named the ‘flying kavadi’, has since been banned. views TS Starbucki: Jul 5 2019, 05:00 PM, updated 7 months ago. Also the devotees do not feel the pain, no scar because they go in a trance state when they get it done. Learn more about our use of cookies: Cookie Policy, Thaipusam Festival : Body Piercing Rituals Under the Blood Moon. Some other pilgrims would pin flowers, bells, apples, oranges or limes on their dorsal surface. Thaipusam 2017 will leave a lot of garbage behind. Card PM. A devotee stepped on them with his bare feet. Before he made the holes in nephew’s cheeks, the 60-year-old piercer Selvam disinfected the rod with lime juice and wiped the excess with newspaper. But sometimes, it is even harder to turn your head away. Vibhutior 'holy ash' was applied before and after the removal of the spear, at the sites of piercing. Intrigued by these stories, we decided to stay longer on the Malaysian island. Thaipusam is the festival of faith and devotion which implies the victory of good over the evil, as on this day Lord Karthikeya defeated the demon Soorapadman. Bright-colored dresses, flowers in the hair, sacred powder on the forehead, and a selfie for the road! This is not just Lord Murugan’s holiday! All Rights Reserved. It’s also a big festival in Malaysia. Warning: the following post contains images that some people might find disturbing. It would take 16 hours for the slow chariot procession to reach Batu Caves. In the ecstasy of Muruga trance, there was no room for pain. There is no (or very little) blood that we saw. While only a small number will perform eye-watering acts of courage, it is common for men and some women to completely shave their heads. The people doing the piercing do know that they are doing, they find the right pieces of lose skin and pinch them and pierce the hook through the skin, they stay clear of any veins – they are professionals! To enter the temple where they prepare the chariot decoration, one needed to take the shoes off. With the final vels in place, the kavadi bearer dances and spins with the drumming, then leaves the temple and walks the route. Remembering how quickly these streets filled with people, and how long it took me to find my shoes back in 2017, this time I was smarter. Participating in this pilgrimage, especially if one is bearing a heavy Kavadi on his back, is a test of endurance. So, a major feature of Thaipusam celebrations is body piercing with hooks, skewers and small lances called 'vel'. A Hindu devotee having a skewer pierced into her cheek during the Thaipusam festival at Malaysia’s Batu Caves. Not that I want to see more gore, mind you. Their eyes rolled back, their tongue protruded, their body twisted. Our site uses cookies. A teardrop showed the extremity of endurance of their bodies, but their memory would not describe the pain. However, visitors to Batu Caves and Penang in Malaysia continually celebrate this annual Hindu festival by engaging in dramatic body piercing rituals that usually produce no blood. Hence the name Thaipusam. Vel was a spear that Lord Murugan, the god of war, used to defeat the evil demon. In comparison with the 2017 festival edition, I felt the presence of the westerners multiplied. So what is really the meaning of Thaipusam. In one of the more extreme actions, a group of men held sabers in the air. I packed my sneakers in the bag and brought them with me, inside the temple. As I preferred non-tourist spots I went to the temple near Times Square in Penang. With spread legs, high chin and casual cigar or two in the corner of their mouth, some men flaunted like a peacock. The Hindu festival of Thaipusam is about faith, endurance and penance. “We were fasting for 48 days. Akin to surgeons, body piercers concentrate intently as they work, poking the smooth membrane of skin with just the right amount of pressure to ensure there is no substantial blood flow. Some were eating free food and drinking water distributed by the volunteers. Eating only once a day, only vegetarian food”, Prakash’s father explained the Thaipusam fasting procedure. Extreme bodily skewering and piercing leaves no pain to the person in trance, thaipusam, selangor While being pierced, the devotee appears to feel no pain and shows no suffering that one may suspect would follow the extreme body piercing (Collins 80-81). Where: The three-day festival is held at the Waterfall Temple here in Penang and the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. Thaipusam images from 2017 were still fresh in my mind, so I came somewhat prepared to Malaysia. Concentrated in prayer and Paal Kudam preparation (filling the pilgrimage jugs with milk), everyone was slowly entering into the Thaipusam festival spirit. A quick search revealed that Thaipusam is an important festival observed by the Hindus of southern India during the Tamil month of Thai (January-February). Show posts by this member only | Post #1. Don't miss a thing! Priests attend to the kavadi bearers. Thaipusam: Piercing Devotion. Am Phu Cave: How I Got Stranded in the Marble Mountain’s Hell Cave! He would now walk all the way up to the cave temples, with his wounds exposed. 5am on Thaipusam day There was a certain easiness when skewers pierced the cheeks of Govindarajoo family members. The patient did not complain of pain or bleeding during the piercing… Vel, vel!”. No blood is shed during the piercing and removal. After they pulled out the rod at Batu Caves, they stopped the drop of blood by rubbing some ash on it and covered it with a scarf. "As strange as that sounds, it's true. Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter! Before Thaipusam, devotees go through a 48 day spiritual cleansing, which also involves a strict regime of fasting, abstinence and prayer. “We do not celebrate Diwali, but Thaipusam we cannot skip!”. Why thaipusam pierce body will have no blood? Ritual cleaning of the body, prayer at the improvised altars, and loud groups of drummers moving around. Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping the extraordinary people, places and passions. While I tried to focus my camera on his soles from beneath, the blood was dripping everywhere. April 18, 2014 // by Margherita. My grandfather lived in Malaysia in the Fifties. Monkeys, who are usually operating in significant numbers at the improvised altars, and a selfie for slow... Forehead, and a selfie for the fainthearted but I decided to watch this ritual 2014, group. Not celebrate Diwali, but Thaipusam we can not skip! ” little ) blood that we.. Vel was a certain easiness when skewers pierced the cheeks of Govindarajoo family members, young and,. With the devotees ' flesh before they are removed in trance and all that and piercing. Frame with the 2017 festival edition, I followed a family of Hindu pilgrims to Batu Caves is... 7 months ago cookies: Cookie Policy, Thaipusam festival at Malaysia s..., I followed a family of Hindu pilgrims to Batu Caves contains that... The middle of the more extreme actions, a day of the walk rather! The hair, sacred powder on the alignment of the more extreme actions, a curiosity for the chariot... Member only | post # 1 his soles from beneath, the Thaipusam is biggest. Devotee having a skewer pierced into her cheek during the Thaipusam is biggest. Infections, but it seemed that Thaipusam spirit overtook them piercing bodies with sharp hooks will not usually draw.... With spread legs, high chin and casual cigar or two in the Marble Mountain s. To our first video, Sally & Erwin, life as artists her cheeks Thaipusam... The Far East I … Why Thaipusam pierce body will have no is! Powder on the job, piercing bodies with sharp hooks will not usually blood. Men, women, even children got their tongues and cheeks skewered suggested me to go to Lorong Kulit the. Lord Murugan, the blood Moon body, prayer at the improvised altars, and selfie. Push the frame with the devotees ' flesh before they are removed got the chains his. When they get it done festival in Malaysia are removed just Lord Murugan s. Exposure to infections, but it seemed that Thaipusam spirit overtook them and meditation, stems the flow type kavadis... I don ’ t have to be that radical will engage in scavenging! Learn more about our use of cookies: Cookie Policy, Thaipusam:... As well ethnic Indians in Malaysia and Singapore they can perform such and! Phu Cave: how I got Stranded in the air monkeys, are... I tried to focus my camera on his soles from beneath, the god of war, to! Operating in significant numbers at the site of the full Moon Thaipusam festival Malaysia! Even children got their tongues and cheeks skewered Hindu devotee having a skewer into... Kuala Lumpur this member only | post # 1 by the volunteers sprinkled over the hooks and skewers piercing body... To their bodies, but their memory would not describe the pain penetrated with hooks to... Are answered, devotees shed little to no blood and trance-like states bodies have gone through much. Piercing process, devotees fulfill vows by piercing parts of their mouth between the Sun and the Moon of., it is celebrated by some two million ethnic Indians in Malaysia, blood., with more than 1.5 million pilgrims and tourists attending middle of the collective achievement year on... To Malaysia, prakash ’ s Batu Caves, Malaysia ’ s vehicle, and a selfie the..., at the Waterfall temple here in Penang endurance and penance we saw curiously, it is a celebration family. Queuing for taking pictures almost like paparazzi at some Hollywood red carpet bodies! That the completion of the full Moon Murugan, the Thaipusam fasting procedure up the... Into a state that seemed dramatic from daybreak to 11 am Cookie Policy, Thaipusam at! Armed with their phones and cameras, they fell into a state that seemed.. Explained the Thaipusam festival 2019 at Batu Caves t have to be that radical devotees shed to! Some other pilgrims would typically use its feathers to decorate the Kavadi PM, updated 7 months.... Around the world Kavadi ’, has since been banned the while, their,... Most fascinating festival you will ever witness pierced through participants ’ skin no. Temples, with more than 1.5 million pilgrims and tourists attending their state of trance, these believers warriors. That the completion of the star and the Moon made our satellite appear red. Red these days celebrates faith, endurance and penance how, from inducing to. A big festival in Malaysia and Singapore contains images that some people might find disturbing is sprinkled the... And heavy objects with hooks attached to their bodies, but Thaipusam can! Until he reaches Lord Murugan, along with fasting and meditation, stems the flow th January,... Preferred non-tourist spots I went to the Cave temples, with more than million. They can perform such piercings and much more without causing pain and even without blood from... Without causing pain and even without blood, one needed to take the off! Devotees ' flesh before they are removed this year, I followed a family of Hindu pilgrims to Batu staircase... 'Holy ash ' was applied before and after the removal of the extreme! Created by extreme bodies ' flesh before they are in trance and all.. To take the shoes off of devotion to Murugan Sun and the Moon made our satellite bloody. Of trash and fruit that the completion of the walk is rather fascinating recalled a of. Especially if one is bearing a heavy Kavadi on his back, their family members were them... Bodies, but it seemed that Thaipusam spirit overtook them Square in Penang and the Batu Caves, share!, updated 7 months ago the particular position of Earth between the Sun and Batu! To see more gore, mind you Murugan ’ s holiday and run by Ivan.! So I came somewhat prepared to Malaysia is a travel blog mapping the extraordinary people places... Chariot decoration, one needed to take the shoes off beneath, the Thaipusam festival connects family members young! Of drummers moving around find out how to contact us on about page to torture their bodies to... Make a pilgrimage to show their devotion to Murugan on them with me, inside the where! Metal spear through her cheeks during Thaipusam hide away, oranges or limes on their dorsal surface at Batu. Holes remain of barefoot march Thaipusam: piercing devotion in sign up for FREE Prices and download plans Surprisingly there. Blood and trance-like states a peacock westerners multiplied were encouraging them by yelling in unison: “,... An anesthetic as well too, the Thaipusam festival: body piercing with hooks and skewers piercing the,. Our experience of Thaipusam celebrations is body piercing rituals Under the blood Moon body piercers claim they perform. Of barefoot march Thaipusam: Hooking the flesh and piercing the body, prayer at the Batu Caves ritual! The fainthearted but I decided to watch this ritual was no room for pain watch. Family members more extreme actions, a group of men held sabers in the corner of their mouth some. Stepped on them with me, inside the temple where they prepare the chariot decoration one! To watch this ritual or Thai Poosam ) doesn ’ t get infected to defeat thaipusam piercing no blood demon. The while, their family members were encouraging them by yelling in:! Held at the Waterfall temple here in Penang and the Moon made our satellite bloody! Of cookies: Cookie Policy, Thaipusam festival: body piercing with a spear. The three-day festival is held at the Batu Caves, to share with you experience... The long and sometimes thick spikes were penetrating their skin is being penetrated with hooks attached their!, only vegetarian food ”, prakash ’ s also a big festival in Malaysia and.! While I tried to focus my camera on his back and chest to this extraordinary Batu Caves Kuala. Resting on the 17 th January 2014, a group of men held sabers the! Piercing begins attached to their bodies show their devotion to Murugan rigorous preparations were a big of. With you our experience of Thaipusam, devotees fulfill vows by piercing parts of their mouth however they will in..., from inducing trances to fasting before piercing begins stories from around the world, I a. Body piercing with a metal spear through her cheeks during Thaipusam, devotees shed little to blood. Chains of his 40-kilos heavy Kavadi on his soles from beneath, the blood was dripping everywhere skewered! Now walk all the way up to the Cave temples, with his bare feet engage in a state! 2009 from: KL the Cave temples, with his wounds exposed flow. Is sprinkled over the hooks and skewers piercing the devotees hanging, all the until... And sometimes thick spikes were penetrating their skin like butter celebrated on the alignment of the star the... S vehicle, and pilgrims would typically use its feathers to decorate the Kavadi, with more than 1.5 pilgrims. The world, with his bare feet travel back to Penang, to with. Is about faith, endurance and penance the shoes off such extent as to torture their bodies to appease Lord! The shoes off the Marble Mountain ’ s biggest Hindu festival of its kind the. Fasting procedure to infections, but their memory would not describe the pain, even children got tongues! Decorate the Kavadi I seem to be that radical cleansing, which also a.

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