[PHOTOS] Thaipusam 2015: 19 Highlights Of Inspiring Moments And Dedicated Devotees

This year's Thaipusam that was held on 3 February was filled with public processions, devotees carrying kavadis, vel skewers piercing their bodies and more. Here are some of the highlights from the celebrations.

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1. More than a million devotees and tourists made way their way to the shrine in the Batu Caves temple to pay their offerings to Lord Murugan

2. The Lord Murugan statue at Batu Caves looked just as grandiose during nightfall...

3. it did during the sunny, bright days

4. Photojournalist, Kiran Kreer was also at the festivity and captured these stunningly moving acts of devotion by these two men

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5. As well as shared with us the intimate moments that took place before that

6. A 64-year-old Australian, Carl Vadivella Belle won over the locals' hearts with his dedication when he joined the Hindu celebration

7. The Thaipusam celebration also saw fellow Penangites taking part in the traditional Hindu rituals, proving that race and religion is no barrier in true 1Malaysia spirit!

8. The smashing of coconuts as a symbol of breaking of one’s ego, the coconut water defining purity and cleansing of the soul

Devotees will smash the coconut that had been prepared along the road. This symbolize people smash open the ego and review the inner purity of himself. This also believes will smash away the obstacle in life and bring a better clearer path.

9. Devotees were seen carrying pots of milk, one of the various types of kavadi (burdens)

For Hindus, paying penance to their deities by carrying milk pots is a common practice, especially during the annual Thaipusam festival.

10. While other kavadi carriers have hooks placed on their skin with different variation of fruits attached

11. Adults and children alike shaved their head on this day to show their gratitude and devotion to Lord Murugan

12. Which resulted in these oddly satisfying photos of the aftermath at the shaving booth

13. Many devotees have their cheeks pierced through...

Thaipusam is most famous for the handful of worshipers who pierce their faces and bodies with swords, skewers, and hooks.

14. ...whereas some have some multiple mortification of the flesh at one time

Unbelievably, the worshipers who pierce their tongues, cheeks, and faces with sharp objects hardly bleed and report feeling very little pain!

15. Vibrant and beautifully decorated kavadis were also present at the festivity

16. The sight of devotees being covered in piercings is not uncommon on this day

17. We're equally impressed yet amazed by these men's piercings on their backs

Heavy, artistic shrines known as kavadis are attached to volunteers with piercings and then carried through the crowd.

18. This man proving that his disability is anything but a hindrance to his devotion deserves an honorary mention!

19. Also, how can we forget Najib and Rosmah who were at Batu Caves, joining the Thaipusam celebrations? How cute!

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated on the day of the full moon, typically on the month of January or February

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrating Lord Murgan, the Tamil god of war. Contrary to widespread belief, Thaipusam is not meant to be Lord Murgan's birthday, but rather a day to celebrate his gift of a spear from Parvati.

The exact date of this important Hindu event is based on the full moon day in the month of Thai (January/February) in the Hindu calendar. The celebrations take place on a grand scale at the Batu Caves (Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple) just outside of Kuala Lumpur. Besides the Batu Caves; Hindus also gather at the Balathan­dayuthapani Temple or Waterfall Hill Temple in Penang, the Sri Subramaniya Swamy Temple in Sungai Petani (Kedah), and the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple in Ipoh (Perak).

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