News and Events
Thaipusam Celebration in George Town, Penang
- Date: Starts from 8th to 10th February 2017
- Venue: starts from Little India to Waterfall Temple via Dato Keramat Road, ends at the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Waterfall Temple
- Main venue: Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Waterfall Temple
Thaipusam is celebrated by the Hindus during the full moon of the 10th month in the Hindu calendar. The day signifies the victory of good over evil. On this day in Penang (and many other parts of Malaysia) of celebration, a pilgrimage procession takes place, whereby the statue of Lord Muruga is placed on a chariot led by more than 60 kavadis and carted from Little India to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani hilltop temple at Waterfall Road.
The Golden Chariot of Penang Thaipusam will start at Queen Street Maha Mariamman temple at 5.00 am on February 8 and travel nine-kilometer journey through Buckingham Street, Campbell Street, Penang Road, Transfer Road, Burmah Road, Anson Road, Macalister Road and Ayer Rajah Road until the Sri Arulmigu Balathandathabani Murugan temple (Hilltop temple) located at Waterfall, reaching around midnight.
As the chariot moves along, with the procession, devotees offer coconuts which are smashed on the roads or path of the chariot. This offering symbolises the shattering of one’s ego, to achieve self-realization. Aside from that, devotees also make offerings of fruits, flowers and incense to the deity.
On Thaipusam day, 9th of February, devotees go through a physical endurance of being pierced on parts of their bodies as act of penance. These devotees will then take a pilgrimage walk to the Waterfall hilltop temple while carrying kavadis as an act of penance or as a fulfilment of a vow.
The following the chariot makes a return trip from about 6.00pm and will pass through Western Road (Jalan Utama), Dato Keramat Road, Magazine Road and Victoria Street. On this day, other devotees also carry out the same activities and follow the route of the procession.
This is a three-day celebration celebration in Penang. You will also find beautifully decorated make-shift stalls erected along Western Road and Gottlieb Road, selling traditional Indian goods, souvenirs, decorative items and snacks.
For further enquiries, please contact the Penang Hindu Endowment Board at 04-650 5215.