KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, January 31, 2023 (The Sun Daily): Thaipusam kavadi makers who were forced into hibernation for the past two years by Covid-19 are back in business for the festival this year with the waning of the pandemic. The lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions allows Hindu devotees to carry the kavadi during Thaipusam on Feb 5, and the kavadi makers are racing against time to fulfill the numerous orders. One of these kavadi makers is Selvaraja Kaliyaperumal, 53, who said he had to stop taking any more orders so that he can concentrate on completing those received several months ago.

Selvaraja, who has been making kavadi since he was 26, said he had received orders to make 20 kavadi for Feb 4 and 5 as well as a few from devotees who started fulfilling their Thaipusam vows last week at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in Batu Caves, Selangor. He had learned the art of kavadi-making from his late father. Now, he is assisted by his two sons, Teenesh, 26, and Satish Raj, 24, in making the beautifully and intricately designed kavadi. Kavadi, which in Tamil means carrying weight on the shoulders, is a painstaking ritual that a devotee offers to Lord Muruga. Thaipusam is observed by Hindus all over the world in the month of Thai in the Tamil calendar to commemorate the act of Goddess Parvati presenting the Vel (lance) to Her son Lord Muruga as an embodiment of Her shakti or power to vanquish the evil Soorapadman and restore peace and well-being.