January 30, 2018
Thai Poosam 2018 Palani Murugan Temple
Thai Poosam festival celebrated at Palani Murugan Temple is rooted in the Hindu Legend from time immemorial. Thai Poosam festival in 2018 falls on January 31st, the day with the Poosam star in the tamil month of Thai. Obviously, it is an auspicious day celebrated by people in Tamil Nadu and Palani Murugan temple deserves a special mention here.
Basically, Palani is a small town in Dindigul district where Lord Muruga abodes in the temple atop the hill called Sivagiri. Palani is one of the famous six abodes of Lord Muruga. Out of all the festivals celebrated throughout the year, Thai Poosam is very auspicious especially at Palani Murugan Temple.
You can witness lakhs and lakhs of devotees reaching Palani bare footed travelling across the different sections of the state and the country as well. After undergoing rigid rituals and fasting for 48 days the devotees are coming to Palani to offer their prayers to their beloved deity Lord Muruga. Here in Palani, he stands as Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy. He is in the form of an ascetic boy with only a loincloth and no other finery. He has a stick in his hand called Dhandam, the reason behind His name.
Significance of Thai Poosam 2018
Besides these, the devotees carry milk pots on their heads, wooden decks with beautiful decorations in their shoulders and the lances piercing their body. With this kind of dedication and devotion, the pilgrims reach the hill top climbing more than 650 steps.
As this festival correlates to the victory of the God over the demons, people believe that by worshipping Lord Muruga on this day will make victorious in their lives defeating all evils from within themselves and also from the materialistic world.
The general practice is that people observe rituals for 48 days before the festival. They are strictly away from smoking,drinking and other sinful activities. Most of them eat only once in a day for all the 48 days. Well ahead of the festival day, the devotees carrying the offerings to the Lord in long pageants from the different parts of the country start their journey to worship their Lord at Palani.
First of all, the journey to Palani will be with many hardships on the way. It is quite common to see limousines queuing behind the pageant where the owners are walking barefooted.
Kaavadi in Thai Poosam 2018
The main attraction of this festival is the Kaavadi. It is nothing but a wooden mount aesthetically decorated with flowers and peacock feathers. The devotees, as an offering to God, carries the Kaavadis on their shoulders, walking barefooted from very long distances to the temple and implore to God to solve their problems. Normally the number of Kaavadis reaching the shrine exceeds fifty thousand and the count is in the increasing trend year on year. The common forms of kaavadi are milk, sandalwood paste and rosewater. Apart from this, lakhs of people carry milk pots on their heads wearing ochre clothes. Tonnes of flowers in orange and yellow colors are offered to the Lord on this day.
We can witness and enjoy the devotees dancing to the tune of drums and tom-tom played on the way to the top of the hill with all the weight on their shoulders. They dance so vigorously as if they are hypnotized by the music.
Another form of offering to the God is existing that the ardent devotees torture their body by piercing their cheeks, tongue and skin with lances and even they draw chariots with metal hooks pierced into their skin. It will be threatening to see a large mass of people walking like this but you will not find any words to admire the devotion and dedication of the devotees and their faith on the God.
Murugan in Tamil Culture
Murugan means beauty in Tamil. Somehow or other, Lord Muruga has been a part and parcel of the life of most of the Tamil families. You can see people named as kandhan, Murugan, Karthikeyan, Subramanian, Vadivelan, Dhandayudhpani, Velayudham in majority of the Tamil families because the culture and tradition of Tamil people lie majorly on Lord Murugan. The festival Thai Poosam inculcates the confidence in every Tamil’s mind and give him morale boost to face any hardships in life and overcome them with the benovelance and blessings of the God. As Lord Murugan is diasporic,the festival is celebrated in a very grand manner in Singapore, Malaysia and USA. More than two million people attend this festival in Batu Caves, Malaysia every year. Lord Murugan is believed to be such a powerful deity that whoever surrenders to his feet will be triumphant in all his endevours.
Let’s visit Palani where Lord Muruga is waiting to bestow his blessings on us.