day 978

Preparing the milk pots.
Pic 2 of 10: The 1st series of Thaipusam 2010.


day 977

Thaipusam which falls in the Tamil month of Thai is an annual procession by Hindu devotees seeking blessings, fulfilling vows and offering thanks. Thaipusam is celebrated in honour of Lord Subrahmanya (also known as Lord Murugan) who represents virtue, youth and power to Hindus and is the destroyer of evil. The festival generally lasts for two days.

On the first day before Thaipusam, a statue of Lord Subrahmanya decorated with jewels and finery and together with his two consorts, Valli and Devayani, is placed on a chariot and brought in procession. In Singapore, the chariot procession begins from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road to the Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Saik Road. The procession symbolises the blessings sought by Lord Subrahmanya from his elder brother Lord Vinayagar.

Thaipusam ceremony starts in the early hours of the morning when the first batch of devotees of Lord Subrahmanya carrying milk pots and wooden kavadis leave Sri Sriniyasa Perumal Temple to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road. The milk in the pots they carry is offered to the deity of Lord Subrahmanya at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Some devotees pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a garlanded wooden arch across their shoulders. Other devotees may carry a kavadi (semi circular metal structure decorated with peacock feathers, flowers and palm leaves).

In preparation for carrying a kavadi, a devotee has to prepare himself spiritually. For a period about a month, the devotee must live a life of abstinence whilst maintaining a strict vegetarian diet. It is believed that only when the mind is free of materials wants and the body is free from physical pleasures that a devotee can undertake the sacred task without feeling any pain.

(From Hindu Endowment Board Singapore website)

The next ten pictures are the first series from Thaipusam festival in Singapore, 29th - 30th January 2010.

Lord Subrahmanya, engraved on a spiked kavadi.
Pic 1 of 10: The 1st series of Thaipusam 2010.





day 973

Short series: National Museum of Singapore.
Pic 1 of 4.

Yearning to get some good shots, apparently I was not creative enough to come up with some pretty angles to capture the beauty of the building. So here are some usual shots...


day 972

Pic 14 of 14: One of the best days of my life.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.


day 971

Pic 13 of 14: Being a coaster collector (albeit not serious), I was almost hysterical here...

Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.


day 970

Pic 12 of 14: Projected image.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.


day 968

Pic 10 of 14: Looking out.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.



day 966

Pic 8 of 14: Lovely, huge barrel.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.


day 965

Pic 7 of 14: Roasted barleys.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.


day 964

Pic 6 of 14: Not sure what machine this is..?
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.


day 963

Pic 5 of 14: Safety box' door.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.



day 961

Pic 3 of 14: Along the road.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin. Pic by Starry.


day 960

Pic 2 of 14: Welcome to St. James's Gate.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.


day 959

Run out of pictures from my 2009 year-end trip, I somehow realised that I haven't uploaded most of the pictures I took during the 2008 year-end trip. And one of the special places we visited during that trip is Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

Since I love (in fact, I DO love) Guinness, Starry had made sure that we had time for a day trip to Dublin. We left Belfast in the morning, spent awhile in Dublin city centre, had a great time at the Guinness Storehouse, did a quick visit to Glasnevin Cemetery, drove back to Belfast, and finished the night on local pub nearby the university in Belfast with Starry's pals.

I did make a note about our one day trip to Dublin on this blog as part of the travel agenda. I also uploaded some pictures from the house, including picture for day 574 (the post on that day we went to Dublin), day 591day 597day 599day 620, and day 641.

The following 14 pictures are other pictures taken from the Guinness Storehouse worth uploaded - hope you like them. For me, they are precious pictures; they bring back a very sweet memory from previous folder of me life.

Pic 1 of 14: Welcome to Diageo Ireland.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.

I somehow like this picture for it has two tones; bluish and brownish without any touching up. Also I like how the splattered dirt on the plate are captured on the picture.


day 958

Another from underwater, Ko Haa, Thailand.
Pic 25 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 957

Ko Haa Thailand: Magnificent Anemone with a Skunk Clownfish.
One of my first underwater shots.

I determine that when one day I will see this picture again, I will be able to mumble, "Gawd, I am glad I can capture them better now", even though I know the picture will never ever do them justice consider how much more beautiful they are in real.

Pic 24 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 956

A rather 'normal/quiet/less bling bling' part of Patong beach, Phuket.

Pic 23 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 955

Khao Lak in the morning.
Pic 22 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 954

My first dab on underwater photography. Darn it is difficult!

This particular Porcupine Pufferfish in Ko Haa, Thailand, is apparently a very curious bugger and very friendly to divers. He is nicknamed Porkie and even has a page in the Facebook!

Pic 21 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 953

Rainy dusk, taken from Baan Phu Lae, the second southmost civilised place in Koh Lanta.

Pic 20 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 952

Another of new year's fire works under the full moon.
Pic 19 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 951

Me, morning in Khao Lak - happy birthday for my sis today.

This pic was not taken on the 4th of Jan. I was diving on raging current on Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, Thailand, to celebrate the occassion this day brings to me :)

One year ago, this day...

Pic 18 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 950

Similan Island, a piece of beach paradise.
Pic 17 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 949

Another of Koh Phi Phi, taken from Koh Lanta.
Pic 16 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.


day 948

...and with the moon set, we tuck 2009 behind us
(this picture was indeed taken on the morning of 1st Jan!)

Pic 15 of 25: 2009 year-end trip.