Penang Isle: Thaipusam Festival Scenes

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For these devotees, they were pulling the large chariot for the Hindu goddess Kali via ropes which were hooked to the back of their bodies.

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Piercing is very common for the devotees.

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For some, it was a family affair.

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Ropes with hooks attached at the back of the devotees.

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Devotees usually prepare for the celebration by cleansing themselves through prayer and fasting approximately 48 days before Thaipusam.

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During this day, 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 kavadi (burdens). In Penang, the pilgrimage’s common destination is the Waterfall Hill Temple.

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Hindus generally take a vow to offer a kavadi to a deity or god for the purpose of tiding over or averting a great calamity.

More scenes can be found HERE.

Penang Mainland: St. Anne Church

The famous St. Anne Church is located at a 20-acres land in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. The Roman Catholic church was founded in 1846 and its first chapel was built on top of the hill. The church expanded as years passed with an increase of Catholic populations in the state, with major developments during the 1990s to 2000s.

In 2002, another new church was built which is one of the largest churches in Malaysia. The church was built incorporating Minangkabau element such as its roofs. An avenue named Dataran St. Anne was also constructed in front of the church. Various facilities were also built such as dormitories for visiting pilgrims, parish office, parish community centre and presbytery. In 2006, the church installed the ‘Statues of Passion’ at a cost of RM600,000 depicting the stations of the cross.

The real feast day of St Anne is on 26 July, but it is usually celebrated for ten days at Bukit Mertajam, either on the real day or immediately after the real day. The celebrations include a candlelight procession, a nine-day novena and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. During these days, pilgrims from all over the country, including neighboring countries, will be travelling here.

Location: Google Map