A Thaipusam procession

There are various kavadis that devotees carry during Thaipusam, a festival Hindus celebrate to worship Lord Murugan, a son of Shiva. Known as a burden, the kavadi this man is carrying involves piercing the body with spikes and metal hooks. A devotee must prepare himself spiritually before bearing a kavadi, living a life of abstinence while keeping to a strict vegetarian diet for a month before the festival.