Traditional Drums At Thaipusam A First Since 1973, S’poreans Welcome Change

Expect Live Music From 7am-10.30pm From 20-21 Jan 2019

Festive celebrations can get rather loud sometimes, but cheery noises are simply indications of how lively the occasion is.

From shouting auspicious phrases during Chinese New Year lo hei to kompang processions at Malay weddings, we don’t mind a bit of noise once in a while.

These festivities often see Singaporeans of all races coming together, so there’s no denying that we all love to have a good time.

So it comes as no surprise that the news that traditional drums will finally be allowed at Thaipusam this year, is more cause for celebration.

First time since 1973

Playing of musical instruments at Thaipusam was banned in 1973 after fights broke out between competing groups, disrupting the processions.

But the government relaxed the rules for the first time in 2016.

Musicians hired by the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) can play ‘live’ music in specific points throughout the procession.

Now, the occasion will be even livelier as people can enjoy longer hours of music from a wider range of instruments, at more locations.

A kanjira and one of either a thavil, dhol or khol could grace the Thaipusam parade for the first time since 1973.



More music & longer hours

Besides additional instruments, this year’s parade will start an hour earlier at 7am and last till 10.30pm.

Recorded music can be played at 35 points, up from the 23 last year.

There will be ‘live’ music at three different points — Short Street, Bras Basah Green and Hastings Road.

Thaipusam procession route


Details of the event that will take place on Sunday (20 Jan) and Monday (21 Jan) can be found on at this website.

Singaporeans happy with changes

Hindus in Singapore are appreciative of the gradual relaxation of rules over the years.

They can now look forward to the celebration with more enthusiasm than before.

Singaporeans of all races and religions are also responding well to the news, sharing their happiness about the positive change.


Many were nostalgic for past Thaipusam celebrations that were more festive, and are looking forward to this year’s edition.


Hope for looser restrictions

Since the government has been easing restrictions gradually over the years, the Hindu community is hopeful for more allowances in the future.

They believe these changes will bring in more devotees and tourists to the event.

Meanwhile, Singaporeans are rooting for Thaipusam to become a Public Holiday, to be fair to our Hindu friends.


Do you think Thaipusam should be a Public Holiday? Let us know in the comments section below.

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