HPA1998 Thaipusam in Malaysia
By Deng Renhe (Malaysia)
HPA1998 Nomination Award
Thaipusam is a key Hindu ceremony that is held each year during the full moon in the tenth month (Thai month) of the Hindu calendar, mid-January to mid-February in the Gregorian calendar. It is marked in Malaysia by a public holiday. During these days, devotees, who have made a vow during the past year, redeem it by carrying ornamental structures (called kavadi) attached to their bodies by hooks and steel spikes that penetrate their flesh. They coat their bodies with holy ash, wear saffron robes, and may insert metal skewers through their cheeks and tongues.
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