Vrat-Festivals | Festivals
Thai Poosam is an important festival dedicated to Lord Murugan or Kaarttikeya. Lord Murugan's Thai Poosam is aHindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the Full Moon day in the Tamil month of Thai [January-February]. It is celebrated by all Tamil community wherever they live. The festival is also referred to as "Thai Pooyam" or "Thaippooyam (in Malayaalam - Taippooyam). The word Thai Poosam is derived from the month name "Thai" and "Poosam" (maybe Pushya star) which refers to a star that is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Paarvatee gave Murugan a "Vel" (spear) so that he could vanquish the evil demon Shoorapadm. There is a misconception among people that Thai Poosam marks Murugan's birthday; however, it is believed that Vaikhasee Vishakam, which falls in the Vaikhasi month (May-June), is Murugan's birthday.
On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of Kavaadee. At its simplest, this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers is also common. The simplest Kavaadee is a semicircular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders, to the temple. In addition, some have a small spear through their tongue, or a spear through the cheeks. The spear pierced through his tongue or cheeks reminds him constantly of Lord Murugan. It also prevents him from speaking and gives great power of endurance.
Legends About Thai Poosam
(1) The Curse of Paarvatee on Murugan
(2) Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiv
(3) The Kaaveree Legend
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 09/30/13