Thaipoosam Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple


By Ponni Sivaraman        

PEARLAND: The Tamil community of Houston celebrated Thaipoosam with pomp and grandeur on the Morning of January 26 at Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland. Thaipoosam is a festival celebrated in honor of Lord Muruga, to commemorate the occasion of his mother, Goddess Parvathy, giving her son the “Sakthi Vel” or the Spear to help vanquish the Asura, Soorapadman. This day is honored as a special festival at all Murugan temples in India, Malaysia, Singapore and Mauritius and where ever else Tamil Communities exist.

Thaipoosam is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February), on the day of the star “Poosam “and around the day of the full moon or Pournami. The morning dawned splendidly as devotees gathered at the Temple site around 8:30am.  The festivities began at the Ganesh Temple with a Sankalpam and Pooja for all the Pal Kudams (a pot of milk which will be offered to Lord Muruga as Abisekham, with a coconut on top and covered with a yellow ornate cloth) and Kaavadis (a semi-circular decorated canopy with a wooden rod that holds together 2 small pots of milk on either ends, also used for the Abishekam).  This year there were about 108 Pal Kudams and 81 Kaavadis.

The Sankalpam and Pooja was followed by a procession of the Pal Kudams and Kaavadis from the Ganesh Temple to the Kalyana Mandapam through the main Temple. Devotees attired in their finest, chanted Aroharas and recited devotional songs in praise of Lord Muruga, the entire way.

Once at the Kalyana Mandapam, a grand Abishekham was performed by priests Sri Manickasundaram Bhattar and Sri Kalyana Sundaram and the exquisite Alankaram and Aarti that followed rendered the gathering of about 500 devotees speechless. Devotees recited the Kanda Shasti Kavasam and sang other devotional songs as well. The whole ambiance was very divine.

The urchava Murthi along with his consorts Deivanai and Valli were then taken out on a procession on the silver chariot or Ratham to the main sannadhi for the final aarti. Prasadams and a very sumptuous lunch was provided by the temple to all those that attended. It was indeed a very joyous day to all.

This event was organized and coordinated by Meena Subramanian with the help of many many volunteers who put in countless number of hours into making this possible.  This huge effort along with the many devotees’ enthusiasm made this year’s Thaipoosam celebration a great success.

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