Break Only One Coconut during Thaipusam, Devotees urged

Devotees celebrating Thaipusam on February 5th are urged to break fewer coconuts.  The money used for breaking coconuts can be channelled to fulfil the various needs of a fraction of the Indian community that still lives below the poverty level.

Breaking coconuts during Thaipusam is a cleansing ritual practised by Hindu devotees. It is a symbolic representation of surrendering one’s ego at the feet of God which is done with full determination and devotion.

The broken coconuts are then collected and the flesh is either eaten raw or used for cooking.  Such is the beauty of this Hindu religious practices which ensures that the food item is not wasted. Whatever food items offered to God should be treated as prasadam and consumed by devotees and should not discarded as waste.

Coconut is used in every Hindu religious ceremony due to its high level of nutrients. Contrary to the popular notion that coconut has a high, level of cholesterol, Hindus use coconut in their cooking and as a treatment for variety of ailments. Thus it has become a fruit that is revered by Hindus in their religious ceremonies.

Many devotees, particularly from the Chinese community, are ill-informed about the reasons behind the coconut breaking ceremony. They think that the more coconuts they break, the more luck is showered upon them. They break thousands of coconuts every year, which ultimately end up in landfill and is burned, which eventually turns into fumes that pollute the environment.

This very act itself is surely not favoured by God.

Breaking of coconuts, which has been ingrained in every Hindu’s heart, should be implemented in the right manner – by breaking, just one coconut, which should be done with full devotion. Spending money to buy thousands of coconuts is not considered wise especially in the current economic situation.

CAP urges devotees to break just one coconut and consumers should not buy coconuts if they are sold at a high price. If consumers continue to pay more to buy, the price will increase even more. Consumers play a vital role in bringing down the price of an item.

The price of coconut is expected to increase during the Thaipusam celebration. The market price of coconut is RM1.70 to RM1.90 per fruit. During Thaipusam coconut price is expected to increase from RM2.50 to RM3.00.

Hindu devotees are urged to give a thought to this coconut-breaking matter and follow right religious practices so as to become a good role model for the younger generations of Hindus.



 N V Subbarow
Education Officer
Consumers Association of Penang

Press Statement, 3 February 2023