Every religion and culture has what outsiders consider odd traditions or rites of passage, but which seem perfectly acceptable to true believers. Every religion has ceremonies and practices that mark life’s milestones: birth, marriage, the transition to adulthood, and death, many of which may sound unusual to non-practitioners. Sometime people practice some rituals which are adopted as a part of religion, sometime they practice cultural traditions which seems bizarre to others. There are a lot of traditions that seems really bizarre to the world where it is not followed.
HINDUS THAIPUSAM FESTIVAL PIERCINGS
At first glance it could be mistaken as any other festival with its thumping drumbeats and its colourful procession but worshippers at the extreme Hindu festival Thaipusam pierce their cheeks with spears and put hooks through their skin to show their devotion.
Devotees often pierce various parts of their body with silver skewers, and carry large contraptions known as Kavadi, thereby taking on a physical burden through which they beg for help from Murugan. Devotees also fulfill vows by carrying milk-filled pots up the stairs to the cave temple.
During the celebration of the religious holiday Thaipusam, Hindus declare their devotion to lord Murugan by piercing various parts of their bodies. It is mainly observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil community such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar.
In Tamil Nadu, they celebrate their devotion to the birth of lord Murugan and his killing of Soorapadman, a vengeful spirit, with a spear. They do this with painful piercings around the body, including the tongue. Over time, the rituals have become more dramatic, colorful, and bloody, with large spears and hooks through the chest and face – some devotees even pull large wagons with ropes attached to their bloody backs.
Some pictures from a recent festival :