Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Once, on Wesak Day...

On the Buddhist holy day of Wesak, we came across a Hindu celebration. This was on the way back from Camerons last week.


Photo 1: we stopped because we saw this. The people taking part very kindly allowed photographs.

And exactly what were we seeing?


Hindus honouring their god(s) by praying and taking part in pre-performed rituals, and then going into a trance-like state while drums beat and their bodies are pierced. There is no blood. None.

After this the devotees parade through the streets to the temple to the sound of drums and the smell of burning incense. Some carry kavadis.

These palaquin like structures are borne, as an offering to the god, by the devotee who considers the pain will be repaid by spiritual or other benefits received.













I must admit I think the women had the easier parts - occasionally helping with the ritual, but mostly just looking stunningly beautiful in gorgeous clothes and vibrant colours, with sweet-smelling flower buds in their hair.

1 comment:

Jo said...

I have seen pictures of this on TV before, it is absolutely incredible that it does not cause bleeding. But then I saw a westerner learn to walk on hot coals, it is amazing what the mind can learn to do.