A Thaipusam procession outside a Hindu temple

Thaipusam is a time of celebration for Hindus, who honour Lord Murugan, a son of Shiva, on this day. Chariot processions and devotees carrying pots of milk known as 'paal kudam' are all part of the festivities, which also include men bearing kavadi, usually by piercing their bodies with spikes and metal hooks.