Thai Poosam Kavady

This event is coming up very shortly and, as it is very dear to persons close to me, I thought some research would be appropriate to ascertain the exact dates, significance and other information.

To add some “colour” to this post I will insert some photos that I took at Umgeni Road Temple (Sri Vaithianatha Easvarar Alayam) in Durban, South Africa, this Sunday just gone.

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This Temple is reported to be the largest Shiva temple in the southern hemisphere.

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Unfortunately, I was unable to find much information on their website / linked site.

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I then found the Lenz Shree and Shallcross Temple sites, which both confirmed the following dates:

  • Flag hoisting Friday, January 18th, 2013
  • Procession / main event Sunday, January 27th, 2013

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The latter site also provides some other significant dates here.

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The Lenz Shree site provides the following information:

“Thai Poosam falls every year on the full moon day in the Tamil month “Thai” (January/February). On this day the full moon is in transit through the brightest star “Pusam “in the zodiac sign cancer and the planet Guru is said to be the presiding deity.

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The festival occurs in the month of Thai (the 10th month on the Tamil calendar) and on the day when the full moon passes through the star “Pusam”. This event is called “Thai Poosam”. This festival is one of the biggest festivals on the South Indian calendar in South Africa.

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The Kavady prayer and penance is observed over 10 days by devotees. The devotee has to abstain from various things like alcohol, drugs etc. They have to observe celibacy and maintain a vegetarian diet for this entire period.

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The Kavady procession is seen as an outward demonstration of mass devotion to God as Lord Muruga.

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There are various reasons for carrying the Kavady but the two main categories are firstly to express thanks to Lord Muruga or to ask Muruga for help in overcoming a particular problem” ~ courtesy Lenz Shree: read more here.

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For photos of the event at Umgeni Road Temple, please search “Thai Poosam Kavady” on this blog and you will find another 6 posts.




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