Yesterday was Thaipusam Cavadee in Mauritius. I was there last year while the festival happens. I thought I'd post some pictures I took there last year. It is a very auspicious religious festival celebrated in Mauritius and other parts of the world as well, by mostly the Tamil community, but lately, more and more people of different faith and religions in Mauritius, as it brings salvation to many. The festival celebrates the birthday of Lord Muruga – son of Shiva, the tamil God of War. Devotees and pilgrims for the procession, have to fast for weeks in advance to cleanse their bodies and mind and also pray a lot before the actual day of cavadee. On the day of cavadee, they have body piercings and carry altars made specially for that occasion to temples and rivers. I've copied an extract of what Wikipedia says about the piercings. "The simplest kavadi is a semi circular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders, to the temple. In addition, some have a small spear through their tongue, or a spear through the cheeks. The spear pierced through his tongue or cheeks reminds him constantly of Lord Murugan. It also prevents him from speaking and gives great power of endurance. Other types of kavadi involve hooks stuck into the back and either pulled by another walking behind or being hung from a decorated bullock cart or more recently a tractor, with the point of incisions of the hooks varying the level of pain. The greater the pain the more god-earned merit."