Thaipusam, a commemoration of the triumph of good over evil, is a Hindu festival celebrated during the month of January/February, mainly in Tamil Nadu
. It is also celebrated with zest by the emigrant Tamil communities in Malaysia and Singapore.
Thaipusam falls on the full moon day in the Tamil month of ‘Thai’. According to myth, Goddess Parvati gave her son Lord Muruga the invincible vel (lance) to vanquish the evil asuras (demons) on this day.
During this festival, devotees walk long distances with Kavadis to Muruga Temples. Many devotees enter a trance, and pierce their bodies with ‘vel’ (lances). A ten-day festival is held in the Periyanayaki temple at Palani.