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An ethnic Tamil woman carries a pot of milk as an offering along a pilgrimage trail during the annual Thaipusam festival of penance and thanksgiving.  She has a skewer piercing her tongue as a form of mortification which follows a session of fasting and prayer.  The Tamil Hindu festival commemorates the birth of Hindu Lord Murugan and his triumph over evil.  Pilgrims engage in various acts of devotion such as carrying burdens, flagellation and body piercing as they take part in a 15-kilometre procession to the Batu Caves.