GEORGE TOWN, 14 Jan 2019:
Flower shops and stalls are flooded with numerous orders for garlands big and small, and single blooms, for the Hindu festivals Thaiponggal tomorrow and Thaipusam on Jan 21.
Noor Mohamad KS Naina Mohamad, 52, a flower seller at Kedia S P Abdul Razak Florist, said he was able to sell hundreds of garlands a day during the period ahead of the Ponggal and Thaipusam celebrations.
He said colourful flowers are what devotees, temples and households need as they are one of many offering made to the deities.
“Despite unpredictable economic conditions, people never fail to buy flowers for that is the way to fulfil their religious and spiritual obligations for Thaiponngal and Thaipusam.”
The Tamil month ‘Thai’ between mid January and February is an auspicious month for South Indians as it welcomes Thaiponngal (the harvest festival) and Thaipusam, a day of prayer and penance dedicated to the Hindu deity Muruga or Lord Subramaniam.
Noor Mohamad said the garlands were sold between RM30 to RM1,000 depending on the size and composition of flowers.
Among the most unique orders he had was one requested by tourist for a garland made out of ringgit notes amounting to RM1,100 for Thaipusam, some years ago.
B. Jaiganth, 43, who inherited his family’s Bala florist shop at Kapitan Keling here, said his shop received many orders, mostly from local customers for both festivals.
He said fresh flowers at his shop were sent by suppliers from Cameron Highlands, Bukit Bendera, Kulim and Sungai Petani every morning.
“Apart from offerings for the family altar and the temple deities, flower orders are also used to decorate cows and the many stalls called “Thannir panthal” that sell yoghurt and drinks during Thaipusam.”