Significance of Thaipoosam Kavady

The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival.

The festival commemorates the occasion that the Mother Goddess Parvati that gave Murugan a Vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

Explaining Kavady

The Kavadi itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from the God Murugan.  Carrying of a Kavady represents the carrying of the 2 hills of Shiva Giri and Sakthi Giri by Idumban known to be the first devotee of Lord Muruga.

Lord Muruga at Palani proclaimed to Idumban that any devotee who carries the Kavady and offers it at Lord Muruga’s feet with devotion and Faith in HIM will receive what he or she desires.

When is Thaipoosam Kavady 2020

kavadi muruga

Kavady translates in Tamil language as a pole slung across the shoulder to evenly distribute the weight of whatever is being carried, usually in bundles on either ends of the pole.

The carrying of kavady symbolizes the carrying of one’s burden and then resting it at the feet of the Lord Muruga.

Some devotees don’t use the wooden or metal arches but rather carry a bamboo pole or a milk pot (Paal Kodum).

Milk is attached to the Kavady or Bamboo to be carried by the devotee while he prays to Lord Muruga. The milk is offered to Lord Muruga to be used in Abishegam, ‘Holy Bath’.

The acceptance of the milk by Lord Muruga is acknowledgement of receiving the devotees prayers by Lord Muruga. Kavady or Bamboo or Milk may be carried every day as it represents the offering of milk to the Lord for Abishegam. In South Africa, the popular festivals for Kavady are Thai Poosam, Chaitrai Paruvam and Panguni Uthiram.

Thai Poosam represents the full moon day in the Tamil month of Thai. This is a very auspicous day in the Tamil calendar as it represents the day on which Lord Muruga destroyed the demon Tarakasura.

Lord Muruga was given 11 weapons by His Father Lord Shiva. His Mother Parvathi gave him his 12th weapon, The Vel.

On the day of Thai Poosam, Lord Muruga destroyed Tarakasura with The Vel. Thai Poosam is therefore one of the most auspicious days to make offerings to Lord Muruga.  

Kavadi Attam is a dance performed by the devotees during the ceremonial worship of Murugan, the Tamil God of War.  It is often performed during this festival of Thaipusam and emphasizes debt bondage.


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