Thai is a Tamil month which coincides with Magh. The word Thaipusam is derived from the month name Thai and Pusam, which refers to a star that is at its highest point during the festival.It is most sacred to devotees of Karthikeya who is worshipped specially when the Poosam star rises in this month .The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel "spear" so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadam. There is a misconception among people that Thaipusam marks Murugan's birthday; however, it is believed that Vaikhasi
Vishakam, which falls in the Vaikhasi month (May/June), is Murugan's birthday
Skanda (or Murugan) was created during one of the battles between the Asuras (Surapadman) and the Devas. The Devas were unable to resist the onslaught of the Asura forces and approached Shiva for help. They surrendered themselves completely and prayed to Shiva. Shiva granted their request by creating the mighty warrior, Skanda, out of his own power or Achintya Shakti. He at once assumed leadership of the celestial forces, inspired them and defeated the Asura forces and to recognize that day people created the festival.
At many south Indian temples trenches of burning coals is laid out for devotees to walk over. People who volunteer to undertake this experience with faith, come away unharmed and unscathed.Kavadi Attam is a dance performed by the devotees during the ceremonial worship of Murugan.It is often performed during the festival of Thaipusam and emphasizes debt bondage. The Kavadi itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from the God Murugan.