Thaipusam festival

Hindu devotees climb the steps to Batu Caves temple during Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur...Hindu devotees climb the steps to Batu Caves temple during Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur February 3, 2015. Hindu devotees across Malaysia on Tuesday celebrated Thaipusam, a religious celebration dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Murugan. Piercing various parts of their body with silver skewers, devotees carry often large contraptions known as Kavadi, thereby taking on a physical burden through which the devotees implore for help from Murugan. Devotees also fulfill vows by carrying milk-filled pots up the stairs to the cave temple. REUTERS/Olivia Harris (MALAYSIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Olivia Harris/Reuters

Hindu devotees climb the steps to Batu Caves temple during Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur. Hindu devotees across Malaysia on Tuesday celebrated Thaipusam, a religious celebration dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Murugan. 

A Hindu devotee's tongue is pierced befo...A Hindu devotee's tongue is pierced before making his way towards the Hill Top Murugan temple during the colourful annual Thaipusam festival, one of the world's most extreme displays of religious devotion, in Georgetown on the Malaysian island of Penang on January 17, 2014. The Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which commemorates the day when Goddess Pavarthi gave her son Lord Muruga an invincible lance with which he destroyed evil demons, is celebrated by some two million ethnic Indians in Malaysia.   AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFANMOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

Mohd Rasfan/AFP

A Hindu devotee’s tongue is pierced before making his way towards the Hill Top Murugan temple during the colourful annual Thaipusam festival, one of the world’s most extreme displays of religious devotion, in Georgetown on the Malaysian island of Penang.