Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Photo by Arwen Joyce
Thaipusam is a festival celebrated by the Tamil community in Singapore each year. In 2011 I was invited by a friend to observe this man's preparations at a Hindu temple in Little India. After all of these little gold weights on sharp hooks were inserted into his skin, he joined other pilgrims in walking barefoot to another temple 3 miles away to show their devotion. The hardest part to watch was when they pierced his tongue and cheeks with the final gold plates. The man, who has been doing this for many years, didn't flinch and appeared to be in a calm, meditative state the entire time. Thaipasum occurs around January/February and if you don't want to go into a temple to observe the preparations (they won't mind) you can watch the early morning parades through the streets of Little India.
By Arwen Joyce, AFAR Local Expert
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.