Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month of the Hindu calendar – Thai – falling from mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is marked in Malaysia by a public holiday.
Thaipusam is celebrated by the Hindu people of South India and the mainly Tamil-speaking Hindu communities throughout Malaysia. Thaipusam is dedicated as a thanksgiving to Lord Subramaniam (also known as Murugan) for answered prayers, and is also a day of penance.
At Thaipusam, parades and rituals are held across the country, with devotees performing ceremonial acts at different locations – the most famous being at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur where more than one million people gather on Thaipusam each year. Tourists flock to see the colours, noise and activities of Thaipusam.
Thaipusam is usually celebrated with a public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang and Selangor only.