THAI Poosam Kavady is one of the most popular festivals observed by the South Indian community in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February period).Although this is so, it has become popularised by the greater North Indian communities as well. Thai Poosam Kavady is a festival dedicated to LordMurugap Peruman, who is also known as Karthikeya, Arumuga, Shunmuga, Subramaniam, and Skanda among many others. Lord Muruga, was the son of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathy.According to the scriptures, Mother Parvathi presented a Vel (spear), to Lord Muruga to destroy the demon army of Tarakasura and combat their evil deeds. Therefore, Thai Poosam Kavady is celebrated as a great destruction over evil. Edumban, the Asura King, was the first devotee of Lord Murugap Peruman. When the great Lord defeated him in battle, he asked Lord Muruga to grant him a boon that devotees follow in his worship by means of carryingthe Kavady.The carrying of the Kavady has many benefits namely, to rid oneself of egoism, illness, burdens, negativity and control of the five senses. Many devotees go into a trance like state and pierce their bodies with hooks, skewers and small vels coupled with lime and flowers. Some devotees pull the chariot with hooks attached to their backs. Many devotees also pierce their tongue and cheek. All this is done as a symbolism of oneness and complete focus on Lord Muruga. The Kavady is a pole or bamboo slung over the shoulderof the devotee, to evenly distribute the weight of whatever is being carried on it. It is symbolic of one’s burdens that’s been carried and rested at the feet of Lord Murugap Peruman. According to the Skandha Purana, one does not have to carry a Kavady to receive the blessings of Lord Muruga. As a devotee observing the fast, all of Lord Muruga’s blessings will be bestowed upon you. The trustees and members of the Shri Siva Subramaniar Alayam of Umdloti Drift Verulam, extends a cordial invitation to all devotees willing to part in this auspicious festival. The festival begins with the hoisting of the flag.Daily bhajans and rituals will be performed at the Alayam, 6 Temple Road, Umdloti Drift Verulam. - Supplied.