The Hindu Thaipusam festival is an astonishing event to witness in Penang, Malaysia.  In honor of their god Murugan, Hindus create huge & colorful kavadi or burdens that devotees then carry several kilometers to Murugan's temple.  Many of the pilgrims allow themselves to have many body piercings--even with large skewers piercing their cheeks and the tips of their tongues.  A few weeks ago I had opportunity to participate in Matt Brandon & Gavin Gough's Thaipusam Workshop.