Essay on “Thai Pusan” Festival
Thai Pusan is celebrated in Tamil Nadu usually in the temples dedicated to Kartikeya. Trenches of burning coal are laid out for the devotees to walk over. It has been seen that people who volunteer to undertake this experience with faith come away unharmed and unscathed.
The chief priest of the temple and the twelve ‘Hero-youth’ first go out in procession from the temple to bath, smear themselves with turmeric powder and begin the dance. A decorated image of the temple deity is held over the priest’s head and colourful chhatris are held by the devotees over their hands. Then they walk over a long pit covered with burning coals and come out unscathed. This is followed by singing and feasting which continues till late at night.
Many strange traditions, like piercing lips with a small spear, locking of the mouth with metal ring and drawing of small makeshift chariot with its chain hooked into the back of devotees, are performed by the ardent devotees.