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Thaipusam


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In the streets of Madurai in Tamil Nadu I came across these guys taking part in Thaipusam, a Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon days in January and February.

On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens).

At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with skewers is also common.

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