"Thaipusam Festival"

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. January 2014. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated in January or February annually. Thaipusam is actually derived from thai which means "10th", and pusam meaning "when the moon is at its brightest". It is thus celebrated when the moon is full in the Tamil month of Thai (between January and February). Dedicated to Lord Subramaniam, also known as Lord Murugan, the deity of youth, power and virtue, this festival is a time for repentance for devotees with celebrations carried out mainly at the temple. Devotees prepare themselves spiritually with extensive prayer and fasting before performing acts of penance or thanksgiving like carrying a "kavadi" from one temple to another. Sharp skewers are pierced through their tongues, cheeks and bodies as a practice of self-mortification. Offerings include fruits, flowers and pots of milk. The repetitive and strong sound of the drums induce the devotes to get deep into the trance. And I myself, although I was "busy" trying to capture the soul of these awesome people, felt in a way that trance too. One of the most beautiful and incredible works i've ever done.

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