See the photograph at this URL.
Doesn’t it remind you of Thaipusam? By the way what is the origin of the word THAIpusam?
is there something to it more than the name of a month ?
And then there are rituals, elsewhere and here too, of self-flagellation, self-crucifixion, , walking over burning coals, starving to death for Nirvana etc.
There must be something primordial and inherent in human nature, to sublimate willing submission to pain and suffering , across borders of religion, race, time (haven’t we seen the craze in recent times in young people to pierce their bodies all over with metal rings etc, as a style statement) and geographical boundaries