Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community around the world during the full moon in the 10th Tamil month of Thai calendar and every year, millions of devotees joined the procession to the sacred temple in Batu Caves, Malaysia.
They prepare for the celebration by cleansing themselves through prayer and fasting approximately 48 days.
On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads, take a holy bath and perform a holy ritual before making their way to the sacred temple with offerings and carrying burdens.
One of the famous burden known as as Kavadi Attam’ (burden dance) is the ceremonial sacrifice and offering to emphasises debt bondage performed by devotees during the worship of Murugan, The Hindu God of War. The Kavadi itself is a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from the God Murugan and the devotees also have to perform holy ceremonies and rituals before offering it to the Murugan.
Devotees get to choose various type of burdens they want to offer as simple as carrying a paal kudos (milk pots), piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with skewers or metal rods and etc.
A trance-like state stops devotees from feeling pain and later the wounds are treated with lemon juice and holy ash to prevent scarring.
These devotees will carry the burden by climbing 272 steps of stairs into the sacred temple deep inside the Batu Caves, where the vast main carven of golden statue of Muruga is seen.
Although this festival is claimed as wild and scary event, I personally viewed this festival as a part of way of Hindu community to bond with each other where family and friends gather and give support to the devotees.