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Just another quiet night in Penang...

We rarely make plans in Penang, because the place has a way of making plans for us.

The other night in our apartment in George Town, the distinct sound of drums and horns crept in under our doors and through our closed windows. We lifted our heads from our computers and gazed out the window to see over a thousand Indians at a small Hindu temple. We grabbed our camera and ran out.
We joined the swelling crowd as they passed down the busy road, following a chariot pulled by two large cows. On top of the chariot sat a statue of a Hindu god covered in flowers. A priest prayed below the statue, as other helpers around him accepted offerings from the crowd and placed them around the altar.

In front of the chariot, drummers and horn players led the way to each colorful flower motif drawn on the road. When the chariot stopped, the followers would smash coconuts on the road and line up with offerings of fruits, flowers, and incense.

An hour after we returned home, we saw fireworks a few miles away as the chariot arrived at another temple.

Just another quiet night in Penang…

Someone told us that the name of the festival is “Citrapaurnami” and the purpose is to determine next year’s date of the biggest Hindu festival in Penang, Thaipusam. If you have any additional information about this festival, we would love to hear from you!

{Picture: When we spotted this lady, we thought she was an Indian princess parading down the street. }