Discuss as:

Hindus observe the festival of Thaipusam in India

According to Reuters: Thousands of Hindus participate in the annual festival whereby devotees subject themselves to painful rituals in a demonstration of faith and self punishment. Hindus believe they are cleansed of all sins and their misdeeds can be redeemed by observing prayers during Thaipusam. Read more about this festival. 

Stephen Morrison / EPA

A devotee with a large cheek piercing leaves Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple during the Thaipusam Festival in Singapore on January 20, 2011.

Sivaram V / Reuters

Hindu devotees with their tongues pierced, take part in a procession as part of the Thaipusam festival in the southern Indian city of Kochi on January 20, 2011.

Stephen Morrison / EPA

A devotee with metal nail sandals leaves Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple during the Thaipusam Festival procession in Singapore, on January 20, 2011.