Thaipoosam Cavadee

The cavadee is a woodern arch decorated with flowers and palm leaves, with pots of milk (sambos) suspended from each end of the base. Devotees carry the cavadee from the bank of a river to a temple in order to fulfil a vow in honuor of Subramanya, the second son of Lord Shiva, and to pay penance and cleanse their soul . Before the procession commences, skewers are threaded through the tongues and cheeks of devotees. Custom dictates that reasonable pace be maintained because the milk in the sambo must not have curdled by the time it reaches the temple. The major Thaipoosam Cavadee takes place in January/February each year at most Hindu temples throughout the island. This is a public holiday. Small cavadees are scheduled once or twice during the rest of the year at selected temples.

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