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Jerusalem: the Birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
20 Apr 2015

The old city of Jerusalem contains the holiest places for two major monotheistic religions and the third holiest place for a third. The old city of Jerusalem contains the Wailing Wall, the holiest site for Jews; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is said to stand on the ground where Jesus was crucified, interred, and later resurrected; and the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is one of the oldest mosques in Islam and represents the place where the prophet arrived on his nightly journey from Mecca. Al-Aqsa is regarded as the third holiest place in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.


Together, these religious sites hold significance for approximately four billion Christians, Muslims and Jews around the world. 

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Hindu Pilgrims Reach for Katasraj in ...
Chakwal
By Malik Ayub Sumbal
15 Feb 2015

Every year a large number of Hindu visit Katasraj temples. Katasraj is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidanshah in the Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site. The Pakistan Government is considering nominating the temple complex for World Heritage Site status. In 2007, it also proposed to restore the temple complex. In 2012, the temple pond is drying up due to heavy use of ground water for industrial purposes. But this year there are only 26 pilgrims visited for the performance of their religious rituals.

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Pilgrimage
Chalkidiki, Makedonien
By Ralf Falbe
10 Oct 2014

Greece, Chalkidiki, Mount Athos, Safni, 10.10.2014, Orthodox monks on pilgrimage at the holy Mount Athos.

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Eastern Orthodox Monks
Mount Athos
By Ralf Falbe
08 Oct 2014

Historic photograph of Eastern Orthodox monks in a monastery at Mount Athos, Chalkidiki, Greece. Dated 1920-1940

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Hasidic Jews Make Pilgrimage to Ukrai...
Uman
By kierankesner
02 Oct 2014

Despite the civil war currently devastating Ukraine this year, an estimated thirty-thousand Hasidic Jews gathered in Uman, a small city at banks of the Umanka River, paying little attention to the worldly, bloody political struggle surrounding the site of their spiritual leader's tomb.

Since 1811, Jewish followers of the Breslov Hasidic movement make an annual pilgrimage to visit the grave of their founder, Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810) of Uman, in central Ukraine. The gathering, permeated by the rhythm of prayer and teaching, joy and remembrance is a central part of this religious group's devotional practice.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the city of Uman had a large Jewish population. In 1941, when the Germans invaded Ukraine, some seventeen-thousand Jews were murdered and the rest were deported - tragically wiping out the entire Jewish community of Uman.

Despite the Nazi occupation and Communist regimes, Jews continued to make the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave even though in some years less than a dozen completed the journey.

Since the fall of Communism, a small but growing Jewish population has re-established itself in Uman in close proximity to the grave of Rabbi Nachman. Despite Uman's remote location, people travel from all over the world for just one week out of the year.

Uman is typical of a small Eastern European city. However, Rabbi Nachman’s grave is protected inside a collection of buildings and sanctuaries situated in something more reminiscent of an old Jewish Ghetto.

Crooked streets and congested buildings rest haphazardly on top of each other and harken back to a place frozen in time. Instead of Cyrillic, signs are in Hebrew. Instead of people dressed in shirts and slacks, the streets are filled with men and women, often separated by gender, and dressed much like those who lived in Uman In the 18th century.

Today, the pilgrimage is undertaken by individuals driven by faith and obligation. A sea of white shirts or black suits and hats, large groups of men and, separately, large groups of women, focus on prayer - blind to the chaos and bloodshed that grips Ukraine.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Oct 2014

The Wailing Wall with the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque in the background in the Temple Mount.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Church of the Nativity
By Noe Falk Nielsen
01 Oct 2014

The site where Jesus is said to have been born. Church of Nativity, Bethlehem, West Bank.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
30 Sep 2014

Jewish devotees attend evening prayer at the Wailing Wall. The wailing wall is the last remaining part of the second temple built by Herod in 19 BC. The wall comprised the western wall of the former temple, thus its alternate name the "Western Wall".

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
30 Sep 2014

Christian woman pray at the site where it is said Jesus was laid to rest.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Sep 2014

The Dome of the Rock towering above the Wailing Wall in the right foreground. The Foundation Stone inside the Dome is significant to both Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Sep 2014

Christian woman lighting a candle for Jesus at the site of the cave at the Church of theHoly Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

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Celebration Of Sayeda Zeinab
Cairo, Egypt
By U.S. Editor
04 Jun 2013

Cairo, Egypt As traditional songs intermingled with prayers blared over loudspeakers, thousands of Cairenes took to the streets the evening of June 4th to celebrate the birth of Sayeda Zeinab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohamed.

Cairo, Egypt As traditional songs intermingled with prayers blared over loudspeakers, thousands of Cairenes took to the streets the evening of June 4th to celebrate the birth of Sayeda Zeinab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohamed.

While Cairo is the site for Sunni pilgrimage, Shi'a Muslims believe that her tomb is located in Syrian town of Set Zaynab. This difference in belief accurately captures the dogmatic divide between the two sects.

The tomb of Sayeda Zeinab is nestled in the heart of Cairo and boasts a stunning mosque enveloping the holy site. The celebration, which draws people from all walks of life in Cairo, is a decadent mix of carnival and piety. Sellers hawk plastic children’s toys beside merry-go-rounds, while the devoted flow in and out of the mosque.

Typical of Sufi mysticism, the men will twirl for as long as they can, with many succumbing to the inevitable dizziness that follows. The devout writhe and spin to the music, eyes often glossed over as they transcend the music in an attempt to make a spiritual connection.

Exhausted from both the stifling heat and the journey, hundreds of the pious Muslims lay asleep on the carpets inside the mosque. Many have taken the traditional pilgrimage of 7 days from villages in Upper Egypt to visit the tomb of Sayeda Zeinab. Beside the tomb as the hundreds clamour to touch it, perfumes are sprayed in the air and camera phones waved about in an attempt to photograph the holy site. The room holding the tomb is packed with people and sweat drips from the brows of every individual. Much of the practices during the celebration of Sayeda Zeinab’s birthday, like the perfumes and the goods for sale, are more cultural traditions than Islamic prescriptions.

The tens of thousands that flock to the street may seem standard to Cairo's image (forged through conflict and civil unrest) but the sense of revelry and celebration is a breath of fresh air to the stagnant summer heat of Egypt's political situation.

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Celebration of Sayeda Zeinab (3 of 9)
Cairo, Egypt
By Leyland Cecco
04 Jun 2013

Inside the Sayed Zeinab mosque, thousands make the final leg of the trek to tomb of the Prophet Mohamed’s granddaughter.

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Celebration of Sayeda Zeinab (2 of 9)
Cairo, Egypt
By Leyland Cecco
04 Jun 2013

Exhausted from both the stifling heat and the journey, hundreds of the pious Muslims lay asleep on the carpets inside the mosque. Many have taken the traditional pilgrimage of 7 days from villages in Upper Egypt to visit the tomb of Sayeda Zeinab.

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The Pilgrimage (19 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
31 Dec 2012

Pilgrims rest in the evening near the holy rock churches of Lalibela. In anticipation for the coming Christmas celebration, thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians set up camp in the days leading up to the event. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (14 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
31 Dec 2012

A pilgrim returns to the camp near Lalibela's rock churches. Thousands of the pious will sleep on the fields in anticipation for the upcoming Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas celebration. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (17 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
31 Dec 2012

Pilgrims descend towards of Lalibela's 11 stone churches. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (13 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

An Ethiopian Orthodox Christian priest greets pilgrims as they descend upon Bet Giyorgis, the iconic cross-shaped church. The church, along with 10 other rock churches, make up Lalibela's pilgrimage site. Inside each church is a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, which is viewed only by the priests and deacons. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (23 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

Clad in tattered robes and blankets, pilgrims follow a priest into a rock church in Lalibela's holy complex. The pilgrims descend from all parts of the country to take part in the prayers during Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (26 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

Smoke and mist hang over the mountain town of Lalibela, home to Ethiopia's yearly Christmas pilgrimage. From all over the country, pious Ethiopian Orthodox Christians travel to the sacred rock churches. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (27 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

A group of pilrims gather for prayer at Bet Giyorgis, the cross-shaped church. Lalibela is a holy site for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, with churches hewn from the mountain. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (22 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

A group of young Ethiopian Orthodox Christians read from a bible during a morning prayer service at one of Lalibela's holy rock churches. Pilgrims flock to the area for the Orthodox Christmas celebrations. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (18 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

A lone pilgrim reads from the bible along the stone pathways linking Lalibela's 11 stone churches. Built after the 1187 invasion of Saladin, the church complex hides below the ground in order to evade detection. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (29 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
30 Dec 2012

A group of pilgrims return to their camp after visiting the holy site of Lalibela. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (15 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

A pilgrim enters one of Lalibela's rock churches. Hewn from the mountain, these churches were originally built below ground to evade detection. Called the 'Petra of Africa' due to its striking similarity to Jordan's Petra complex, this site relatively unknown (outside of Ethiopia) draws thousands of pilgrims each year for the Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas celebration. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (28 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

A group of pilgrims recite the bible at an early morning prayer at the holy complex of Lalibela. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (8 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

Wrapped in shrouds of early morning mist and cotton, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians stand in prayer at the edge of Bet Giyorgis, the rock church carved to resemble a cross. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (7 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

In the 1500s, King Lalibela had 11 churches hewn from a 'mother rock' in order to create a holy place underground safe for pilgrims to worship and evade detection. The result was so captivating that the first European to enter the site wrote "I am weary of writing more about these buildings, because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more." Lalibela's vision ensured continued worship for hundreds of years, with masses of the pious still congregating each Christmas. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (5 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

Serenity and fulfillment consummate one's spiritual journey. For the pilgrims transfixed in prayer, the experience has been a voyage both into the depths of the earth as well as the depths of their own faith. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (4 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

Resting against the rock face of the church, an Orthodox Christian is caught in a moment of contemplation. Each of the underground churches contain a thick and richly colored curtain hiding a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, viewed only by priests, deacons and bishops. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (3 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

Pious Ethiopian Orthodox Christians stand above the cross-shaped stone church of Bet Giyorgis. After congregating early in the morning, the pilgrims travel down the stone steps of the church to be blessed by the priest. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (2 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

Rows of pilgrims from villages all over Ethiopia file down paths on their way to be blessed by priests and visit the holy site of Lalibela. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (1 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

Pilgrims make their way through a key-hole opening in the rock churches of Lalibela during an annual voyage for Orthodox Christmas. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage (11 of 29)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By Leyland Cecco
29 Dec 2012

An Ethiopian Orthodox priest awaits pilgrims in one of Lalibela's 12 stone churches. Pilgrims flock to the holy city each year for Christmas. Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Lalibela, Ethiopia. December 2012.

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The Pilgrimage
Lalibela, Ethiopia
By U.S. Editor
29 Dec 2012

Perched high in the mountains of Northern Ethiopia, in the small town of Lalibela, Bet Giyorgis is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Wrapped in shrouds of early morning mist and cotton, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians stand in prayer at the edge of the rock church carved to resemble, what some believe is, Jerusalem. Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is one of the only indigenous, pre-colonial Christian churches in Sub-Saharan Africa and still maintains its ancient rituals.

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Juna Akhara Makes 'Shahi Bhoomi Pujan...
Allhabad, Uttar Pradesh (INDIA)
By newspoint
01 Dec 2012

It was an event awaited by all as it happens only once in 12 years as the first akhara in the series of 13 of Sanatan dharma Panch Dasnam Juna Akhara made an official entry into the city led by two Shankaracharyas and 40 Maha Mandaleshwars. Truly a historic occasion, given the fact that the occasion was the most auspicious.
Kumbh Mela (Fair) is the largest gathering of people for a religious purpose in the world. Millions of people gather on different places for this auspicious occasion. Kumbha is a Sanskrit word for Pitcher, sometimes referred to as the Kalasha.
According to astrologers, the 'Kumbh Mela Fair' takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries. Kumbh (Kumbha means pot) Mela (means fair) is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage. In 2013 from 27th January the Purna Kumbh Mela will be held on Allahabad which occurs after every 12th years.
Byte - Hari Giri, Pious , Juna Akhara
“Kumbh Mela (Fair ) will start its time. It was the first worship of the Kumbh. It is called the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ (land worship ). I am fully satisfied with the arrangements”. News Agency: News Point TV
Shooting Location: Allhabad, Uttar Pradesh (INDIA)
Publishing Time: 1st December, 2012
Length: 4:00
Video Size: 123.2 MB
Language: Hindi
Column:
Organized by:
Correspondent:
Camera:

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Mother's Day at the Cemetery
Lima
By ric francis
12 May 2012

In Peru, Motherʼs Day is celebrated throughout the country on the second Sunday of each May much as it is elsewhere in the world: Peruvian mothers are honored with family meals, parties and showered with gifts. However, there is a particularly popular location where Peruvians gather to socialize over food and drinks in honor of their mothers: the cemetery. Thousands gather at cemeteries in celebration of deceased moms. Such was the case at The Angel Cemetery in the Barrios Altos section of Lima, Peru. Just outside the gates of the cemetery the streets were alive with vendors selling flowers and heart-shaped “Feliz Dia Mama” (Happy Motherʼs Day) balloons, to a throng of family members, both young and old. The air was filled with warmth and laughter as women, children and men entered the cemetery and sought out the grave sites of their mothers and wives. A common sight is that of men balanced on large ladders set up against multi-level mausoleums; theyʼre hired by families to clean and place flowers as well as balloons on hard-to-reach graves. While for some visiting the cemetery is a solitary event, for others it is a social gathering used to catch up on the happenings of each otherʼs lives as they celebrate memories of deceased mothers.

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"Living the Love" - Documentary about...
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
By Gloria Kurnik
08 Feb 2012

In depth portrait of the Hindu Thaipusam festival held annually in Malaysia in January. A unique take on the events through the eyes of a participating couple.
This short documentary is produced in a "personal journey" or "character driven" style.

Synopsis:
Piercing the body out of faith is a custom in most of the oldest religions. Though it may induce fear, doubt and anxiety, it is also associated with a certain sense of mysticism and spirituality. The viewer witnesses here the Thaipusam - the magical Hindu festival where devotees in a state of trance, painlessly carry offerings in the form of heavy burdens and/or have a range of intriguing attachments hooked to their body.

But beyond the images of unbelievable crowds and fanfare, the viewer can also witness the love, trust and devotion merging into an expression of faith through self-sacrifice.

For many, Thaipusam is all about the flourish and the obscure customs. For many tourists, it is the defining evidence of the unique multi-cultural life in Malaysia. For many amateur photographers, it’s one of those places where you capture that ‘one’ unforgettable picture. For some it's a story of love...