“Some cultures invoke the spirits in ways outsiders might find strange or even shocking—allowing their bodies to be pierced with skewers and hooks. But each year, more than a million Malaysian Hindus take part in this ceremony called, Thaipusam.” - National Geographic
This video is not for the faint of heart..
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival being celebrated by the Tamil community on the tenth month of the Hindu calendar which is mostly at the end of January. It is one of the largest annual gathering in Asia which starts with an 8 hours procession from KL and ends at the top of Batu Caves. Devotees of more than a Million visit Batu Caves for the festival. Similar to Filipinos way of celebrating Holy Week, Tamilians as a form of penance or sacrifice, carries kavadis "burden," from a pitcher of milk to a brightly decorated frameworks, usually combined with various metal hooks and skewers which are used to pierce the skin, cheeks and tongue.
Check this video link also from National Geographic:
Batu Caves is one of the most popular Malaysian destination and Hindu shrines outside India, aside from being the venue of Hindu festival of Thaipusam. It is located just 13 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur, so if you will visit KL be sure to drop by Batu Caves.
Enjoy more photos:
Festival of Thaipusam is the most popular time to visit Batu Caves, but it is a must see destination any time of the year, offering a distinctively Hindu experience.