Thaipusam 2023 falls on Sunday, February 5. It is one of the renowned Hindu festival mostly celebrated by Tamil Hindu.
Thaipusam, also known as Thai Poosam or Thaipoosam, is a Hindu festivals celebrated by the people of Tamil community in India and outside. It marks the occasion of Goddess Parvati offering a Vel (or spear) to Lord Murugan to eliminate the demon Soorapadam and his brothers. On this day, people worship Lord Murugan and seek their blessing in the form of protection from evil.
The word Thaipusam is made from two word- Thai, which is the name of a month, and Pusam, Tamil word for Pushya star. During this festival, the Pushya star is at its highest point Devotees who want to know more about Thaipusam 2023 like its significance, ritual, date, story behind it, etc can find the same in this article.
Thaipusam 2023 Date
According to the Tamil calendar, Thaipusam falls in the Thai month on full moon day (Purnima). In the Gregorian calendar, this festival is observed normally in the month of January or February. Calculated as per the Tamil calendar, Thaipusam 2023 will be observed on Sunday, 5 February 2023. The Poosam Nakshathram will begin from 09:16 am, February 04 and end at 12:13 pm on February 05, 2023. From the year 2021, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu declared a public holiday on the occasion of Thaipusam. All public offices, banks, schools and many private offices will remain close on Thaipusam 2023.
Story behind Thaipusam festival
Thaipusam is a major festival celebrated by Tamil speaking people all around the world. Lord Skanda (Kartikeya), who is known as Murugan in south India, is worshiped on the day of Thaipusam.
As per the legend, once there was an evil asura named Soorapadam who defeated the Devas and started ruling the heaven and the earth. With nowhere left to go, the Devas reached Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and asked for their help in defeating and killing Soorapadam. Upon hearing their request, Lord Shiva created a warrior from his own power and named him Skanda. Skanda brought all the celestial forces together and as their leader defeated the evil demon Soorapadam. Skanda was given a spear by Goddess Parvati using which he was able to defeat the whole demon force. The festival of Thaipusam is celebrated to mark the receiving of spear by Lord Skanda and his victory over the demons.
While some believe Thaipusam to be day on which Skanda got spear from his mother and killed the asura, some people also believe this day to be the birth day of Lord Skanda. However, as per some sources, Skanda birth day falls in the Vaikhasi month (May/June) and is celebrated as Vaikhasi Vishakam.
Significance of Thaipusam
It is believed that Lord Murugan was made from the Achintya power of Lord Shiva and is the Hindu god of war. On the occasion of Thaipusam, people worship Lord Murugan and ask for his grace to remove all the evil inside them and protect from outer evils as well. Some people also celebrate this day as the birth anniversary of Murugan.
Kavadi Attam or Kavadi Dance is a famous ritual related to the Thaipusam festival in which a canopy, called kavadi, is decorated and loaded with offering in the form of food items and carried to the temple of Lord Murugan. The kavadi is carried by the devotees who walk on their bare feet to reach the Murugan temple which can take from days to weeks.
This pilgrimage to the temple of Morgan bearing kavadi is called as nadai payanam. Murugan temple in Palani is a popular destination where devotees reach with the kavadi on the occasion of Thaipusam. This temple is one of the arupadai veedu or six houses, the sites sacred to Murugan. Devotees who carry and offer the kavadi and the offering to Lord Murugan need to keep themselves clean, perform regular prayers and observe a fast before the Thaipusam.
They also have to perform elaborate ceremonies at the time of assuming the kavadi and at the time of offering it to Murugan.
Thaipusam Celebration outside India
Apart from being celebrated in Tamil Nadu of India, the festival of Thaipusam is also observed in countries with significant population of Tamil community such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius. It is also celebrated in other countries where ethnic Tamils reside such as Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, etc.
February 5, 2023