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The documentary I watched is about Thaipusam festival I watched it on National Geographic Channel and was amazed to discover the meaning the process and the traditions and practices of Thaipusam It was interesting to watch the procession yet at the same time learn more about it in detailEvery JanuaryFebruary depending upon the lunar month - on a full-moon day in the Tamil month of Thai the Hindus will celebrate Thaipusam in honour of their Hindu God Lord Subramaniam sometimes referred to as Lord Murugan who is a son of the Hindu God Shiva He is believed to represent virtue youth and powerAs mentioned in the documentary Thaipusam is celebrated in Singapore and also in Malaysia although it does not occur in India which is rather strange to me Thaipusam is important to the Hindus as they believe that it reinforces the solidarity of the minority Hindu community and symbolises the eternal struggle between good and evil This festival is known for the devotees who fulfil vows by shaving their heads bald or performing rituals Some have their cheeks chest and tongue pierced with flesh hooks or thin sharp spear like metal rods that looks more like skewers Personally I find the piercing ritual rather horrifying as it was a gory scene with lots of blood Some of the devotees carry milk pots while some carry a Kavadi The Kavadi is a large festive structure made of aluminium covered with colour and peacock feathers It symbolises a mountain with an effigy of Murugan at the top Some Kavadi can reach 3-4 metres in height Others pull wheeled altars that are attached to the back by hooks They all involve some form of body piercing As they are said to be in a trance there is no pain of piercing such stuff on their bodies But as a viewer it was rather painful for my sightYoung devotees as early as the age of 9 also participates
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