Thaipoosam, is a festival celebrated by the Hindu Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai ( January/February ), usually coinciding with Pushya star, known as Poosam in Tamil. The festival is also observed as Thaipooyam Mahotsavam in Shree Subrahmanya Temple in Alappuzha, Kerala.
The word Thaipoosam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam (Tamil word for Pushya; Malayalam word – Pooyam). This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a Vel “divine spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman and his brothers.
According to the Hindu Purana Skanda Puranam, the legend of Murugan, and Thirupugal which are divine verses on Murugan, adhere to Shaivam principles. Murugan is the embodiment of Shiva’s light and wisdom and devotees pray to him to overcome the obstacles they face, as He is the divine vanquisher of evil. The motive of Thaipusam festival is to pray to God to receive his grace so that bad traits are destroyed.