Thursday, February 22, 2018 07:21:01 AM

Hundreds of thousands mark Thaipusam today

Photo Gallery2 Photos By AFP - Wed Jan 31, 4:01 am

thaipusamBATU CAVES: Hundreds of thousands of Hindus across Malaysia celebrated the annual Thaipusam festival on Wednesday, with many piercing their skin with hooks and skewers to show devotion to the deity Murugan.

Thaipusam marks the day when the goddess Parvathi gave her son Lord Murugan a powerful lance to fight demons. It is observed mainly in countries with a significant ethnic Tamil population, including Malaysia and neighbouring Singapore.

Most of Malaysia’s roughly 31 million people are Muslim but it also has ethnic Chinese and around two million ethnic Indians, mostly descendants of labourers brought from India by former colonial ruler Britain.

thaipusam1Thousands of devotees thronged the Batu Caves on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur in the early hours Wednesday, walking barefoot up the 272 steps towards the site’s limestone hilltop shrine.

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