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 mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community including Malaysia. . It mark as public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang & Selangor.
I’ve been living in Kota Kinabalu for so many years but never heard of this festival being held around here. All this years, I only know this iconic festival attracts over one million devotees and tens of thousands of tourists at Batu Caves. I was looking for some photographic opportunity during Deepavali last year, when I see the note about Thaipusam at Sri Subramaniam Temple (KM22, Penampang-Papar Road in Lok Kawi). My curiosity about it lead me to ask one of the visitor at the temple, I am lucky enough to know that the person I talked to is one of the temple management team. He said it was actually held every year. Yes, every year here in Kota Kinabalu and I have never seen a picture of this festival that was taken from here.
With the information given, I managed to find the location where it being held. It was at Meruntum waterfront near Sabindo Traffic Light. I can’t wait a friend of mine, Rade to arrive when I saw the ceremony is already started. During the ceremony, I’m still curious will be there any piercing like what we used to see at Batu Caves. I decided to stay when the group of devotees carrying a pot of milk walks to Sri Subramaniam Temple. Then I just realise that the piercing ceremony will be held.
Since this was my first time covering Thaipusam Festival, I have no idea how and what to expect. These are some images I took this morning with Fujifilm X-Pro1 + Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4.
I can’t stay until the end of ceremony (I wish I could), I have another priority for family & to perform Friday Prayer. I learn a lot about this festival, next year I’ll aim for the eve Thaipusam. It much more interesting in Batu Caves, but I prefer to highlight the festival at Kota Kinabalu.
- Fuji X-Pro1 Shoots Landscape (Kota Belud)
- Tailor at Handicraft Market, Kota Kinabalu
- Fujifilm X-Pro1 Review (In My Own Words)
- Baby Portrait With Available Light
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“The Kaamatan festival is an annual event in the cultural life of the Kadazandusuns of Sabah since time immemorial. In its deepest sense, Kaamatan festival is a manifestation of Creator and Creation relationship, as well as Inter-Creations relationship. It embodies the principal acts of invocation of divinities, appeasing, purification and restoration, re-union of benevolent spirits, and thanksgiving to the Source of All. It is part of a complex wholesome Momolian religious system centered on the paddy rites of passage and the life cycle of Bambarayon – the in-dwelling spirit of paddy”-wiki
The peak of Tadau Kaamatan is on 30th & 31st May, most of the time, the event took place at KDCA, Penampang. This is the only day where the traditional houses arround the KDCA are fully occupied by its own native with their traditional costume, products, and some even performing traditional dance. I live near to KDCA which is just 3-4 kilometer away but this is my first time to visit KDCA during Tadau Kaamatan after about 4 years live in this area. I just had about 2 hour to walk arround it before i need to leave to do other things. Tadau Kaamatan gives a lot of portrait opportunity which i have set my date to be here next year for 2 days. In the mean time, this is some of the portrait that i managed to shoot during my 2 hour visit.
Feel free to view more images in my flickr set