大宝森节是淡米尔社群的印度教节日,落在印度阴历的第十个月,即泰月的月圆之日举行庆祝。它通常都落在阳历的一月中旬至二月中旬,而马来西亚则是印度以外最盛大的大宝森节庆典之地。在靠近吉隆坡的黑风洞则是马来西亚最大型的大宝森节庆祝之地。

Thaipusam is celebrated by the Tamil speaking Hindu community during the full moon in the month of Thai, which is the 10th month of Hindu calendar. It usually falls between mid Jan to mid Feb and Malaysia has the largest Thaipusam festival outside of India. In Malaysia, largest celebration can be found at Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur.

大宝森的这个“大”字是指泰月,而“宝森”是指一个星的名字。它是一个向姆鲁甘神谢恩和赎罪的日子。信徒一般都会在特定的时期内吃素,然后在节日来临前斋戒。在吉隆坡,游行队伍会在凌晨左右从市中心(茨厂街附近)的斯里马哈马里安曼印度庙开始,第二天清晨到达黑风洞

The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month – Thai, and the name of a star – Pusam. It is dedicated as a day of thanksgiving and penance to Lord Murugan. Devotees usually diet as vegetarian for a certain period and then prepare themselves through fasting before the festival. In Kuala Lumpur, the procession starts at Sri Mahamariamman Temple in the city center (near Petaling Street) around midnight and arrives at Batu Caves in the next morning.

在黑风洞,信徒会先到河边洗浴净化,然后扛着卡瓦第(一个经装饰的木制或金属框)在肩上或顶着pal kodum(奶壶)在头上走到洞内的印度庙。有些信徒会在舌头、面颊、或身体的任何部位穿上铁钩或扦或三叉戟。他们在穿铁钩或扦或三叉戟时,和走上洞口时,大多都处于半催眠状态。他们相信神灵与他们同在,使他们毫无痛楚、毫无流血、事后毫无疤痕。

At Batu Caves, devotees will take a ritual bath at the riverside before they make their way to the temple inside the cave. They usually carry kavadi (a decorated wooden or metal structure) on their shoulders or pal kodum (milk pots) on their heads. Some of them will pierce their tongue, cheeks, or any part of their body with hooks, skewers, or tridents. Many of them are in trance while piercing and on the way to the cave entrance. They believe the God is with them, and therefore it makes them no pain, no bleed, and no scar after the festival.

我曾经为大宝森节到过那里三次,但从没在节日当天爬上272级的阶梯到洞口。那里人太多了,成千上万的人群不断地往洞里走。无论是信徒和他们的亲属,还是游客、摄影师和记者,都在黎明前到下午时持续地往上爬进洞里。如果我要往洞里爬,恐怕我需要用很多的时间和精力往下走离开黑风洞,因为阶梯会塞满人群挡住去路下去。

I have been there for Thaipusam for 3 times, but I have never made my way to climb the 272 staircases to the cave entrance on the day itself. There are just too many people with thousands to millions of them crowded to reach the temple inside the cave. Devotees and their families, plus tourists, photographers, and journalists are continued to climb up to the cave before sunrise until afternoon. I will have to take a lot of time and effort to come down if I climb up there as people are blocking the way for me to walk down the staircases.

当我完成河边的拍摄都已快要早上10点了,而我都会感觉精疲力尽,有心无力地看着洞口。这是因为我一般都在清晨4.30前到达,而且通常都会因工作熬夜导致睡眠不足,所以很容易累。看来下次,我必须确保自己在大宝森节前拥有充足的休息,以便能爬上洞里观看祭拜仪式。

By the time I had done my shooting near the river, it’s about 10am and I felt exhausted to climb up to the cave. This is because I would usually reach Batu Caves before 4.30am and I had never had enough sleep due to work. Next time, I guess I will have to take enough rest before the day and climb up to the cave to witness the ceremony.

在进行刺钩前或抬卡瓦第和奶壶前,都会先点燃这个祭拜 Before the piercing and carrying kavadi and milk pot, devotee will light this candle
在进行刺钩前或抬卡瓦第和奶壶前,都会先点燃这个祭拜
Before the piercing and carrying kavadi and milk pot, devotee will light this candle
在河边祈祷的信徒 Devotee praying at the river
在河边祈祷的信徒
Devotee praying at the river
信徒洗浴净化 Devotee takes ritual bath
信徒洗浴净化
Devotee takes ritual bath
把响铃用钩刺上 Piercing with bells
把响铃钩在背上
Piercing with bells at the back
用铁钩把小奶瓶刺在背上 Piercing with small milk pots
用铁钩把小奶瓶刺在背上
Piercing with small milk pots
信徒扛着卡瓦第并把舌头和面颊都穿上扦 Devotee who is carrying a kavadi with piercing on cheek and tongue
信徒扛着卡瓦第并把舌头和面颊都穿上三叉戟
Devotee who is carrying a kavadi with piercing on cheek and tongue
把扦刺穿双颊 Pierce with skewer
把扦刺穿双颊
Pierce the cheek with skewer
除了花,铁钩后面还有绳子被来着 Piercing with flowers and rope that pulls by another one
除了花,铁钩后面还有绳子拉着信徒
Piercing with flowers and connecting with rope that pulls the devotee
正用铁钩钩在信徒背上 Hooking on the back of the devotee
正用铁钩钩在信徒背上
Hooking on the back of the devotee
把奶壶顶在头上 Carry the milk pot on top of head
把奶壶顶在头上
Carry the milk pot on top of head
信徒用赤脚踩在已放上柠檬的巴冷刀 Devotee using bare foot to step on the parang knife with lemon
信徒用赤脚踩在已放上柠檬的巴冷刀,看得我心惊肉跳
Devotee steps on the parang knife with bare foot
催眠状态中的信徒 Devotee in trance
催眠状态中的信徒
Devotee in trance
另一名催眠状态中的信徒 Another devotee in trance
另一名催眠状态中的信徒
Another devotee in trance
扛着沉重卡瓦第的信徒正走到洞口朝圣 A devotee carrying the heavy kavadi to start his pilgrimage to the cave entrance
扛着沉重卡瓦第的信徒正走往洞口朝圣
A devotee carrying the heavy kavadi to start his pilgrimage to the cave entrance
在黑风洞大宝森节看见的可爱小妹妹 A cute little girl at Batu Caves during the Thaipusam
在黑风洞大宝森节看见的可爱小妹妹
A cute little girl at Batu Caves during the Thaipusam

注意事项:

  • 信徒洗浴的地点有两个,一个接近电动火车站,另一个在MR2高架天桥下。
  • 请事先有心理准备看见各种用铁钩、扦和尖刺刺向信徒的身体任何一部位。
  • 有些半催眠状态中的信徒会大喊、大跳或跳舞,有些更会拿鞭子鞭打。所以看到这种状况之下,请让出地方给信徒们,别接近进行拍摄,不然中招(被打或被鞭)的会是你。
  • 勿近距离把相机对准信徒们的脸部。如要拍特写,请用长镜头。我曾看见有摄影师近距离(就只相差两寸左右)拍半催眠状态中的信徒,结果惹怒那信徒和他的家属。

Notes:

  • It has 2 places for the devotees to take ritual shower. One is nearby the KTM Komuter station and the other one is below the MR2 elevated highway.
  • Please be prepared psychologically that you will see piercing with hooks, skewers, and tridents at any part of the body.
  • Some of the devotees in trance will shout, jump, and dance; some of them even hit with whip. Therefore, please stay away from the devotees under this circumstance, or else you will be hit or whipped.
  • Please do not shoot the devotee’s face with camera at a very close distance. If you want a close up photo, please use zoom lens. I saw a photographer shot a devotee who was in trance in extremely close distance (just about 2 inches away from his face) and that had caused the devotee and his family in anger.

怎样到黑风洞看大宝森节?

  • 公共交通:搭KTM电动火车从KL Sentral 站到Batu Caves 站。车站就在信徒进行洗浴的河边附近。
  • 自驾汽车:尽量早到和11点前离开。过了这时间,许多车辆将会双重或三重停放到路中间而导致MRR2的交通拥挤堵塞。可以把车停放在黑风洞对面店铺那里的停车位,但要交比平常贵上几倍的停车费。这取决于到黑风洞的距离,越近越贵。我曾经把车放在MR2高架高速公路旁,但都很早离开,因为迟了就会因双重泊车而走不了。【在普通日子里,一般都能把汽车停放在黑风洞前的免费停车场】

How to get there to witness Thaipusam?

  • By public transport: Take KTM Komuter from KL Sentral to Batu Caves. The station is nearby the river for the devotees to take ritual bath.
  • By Car: Reach as early as possible and leave before 11am. After this hour the traffic at MRR2 will be very congested as many cars will double or triple park until middle of the road. You can park your car at the shoplots opposite Batu Caves, but you have to pay for the unusual parking fee depending on the distance to Batu Caves. The nearer the more expensive. I did park along the elevated highway MRR2 too, but have to leave early as cars would block my way to leave due to double parking. [In normal days, usually can park the car at the free parking lot in front of Batu Caves]
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