Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thaipusam 2009

Thaipusam is a Hindu religious festival that is held once a year in honour of the Hindu deity "Lord Murugan". It is a time when worshippers show their devotion by usually either carry milk pots or the more extreme of carrying a 15kg (33lbs) “Kavadi” which involves alot of piercing of hooks or very long sharp spikes.

It really is a sight to see and not really for the faint hearted especially at the point of piercings and the removing. It is just unfortunately I am not able to be there in the evening to catch the really elobrate Kavadis.

These people have to walk about 4km (2.5miles) barefoot and in the day it is especially harder with the heat and the very hot road. It is made even more challenging with the fact that these devotees have fasted between 1 week and 3 days before.

Here are some shots from this morning. A warning for the squeamish, there are shots of body piercings!

The event is really a family event where members of the family and friends participate in the walk with the devotee to provide support.

Even the young participate. Some carry milk pots while there are the few that do the pirecing.

I mentioned milk pots. Devotees can opt to carry a milk pot instead of the extreme Kavadi due to reasons of their own. The expression on this man shows his quiet devotion.

My eye caught sight of this walking stick. Many Kavadi carriers use a walking stick to support themselves through the walk due to the weight of the Kavadi.

Lime is a symbol of protection. Yes, those limes have been hooked to his body.

The Kavadis and the rest of the shots.

Just a background. There were several shots taken while I was lying on the ground. In this shot you can see the man on the left smiling at me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

City Views of Hong Kong

More photos from my Hong Kong trip. These here are a selection of various scenes and views I saw during my holiday there. Many were interesting views but there were others that were a little "raw" but all were wonderful to take.

To start off first are some panoramic views of Hong Kong.

The first one is a view of Hong Kong city from "The Peak". This is not the top of the peak but at 2/3 of the way. It was a little misty as it was still cold weather there.

This second one is from the top floor of the hotel were I was staying. This is a view other view of Hong Kong city across the Hong Kong harbour.

Next set here are views from Mong Kok. This area is a famous shopping district where many of the shops open till past 1am. It was also here that I got my new Tamron lens from "Wing Shing", one of the more reliable shops in Hong Kong for camera equipment. Anyway, this areas was crowded and full of flavor, definately a must visit when in Hong Kong.

This Golden Retriever was decked out in the Chinese New Year finery on the streets of Mong Kok, Hong Kong.

Here are crowds in Mong Kok...this is the early crowds (1730hrs) that just gets more later in the night.

This was an unusal sight to me where stores placed a chair outside for people to rest their feet or wait.

Like in many cities around the world no matter how rich, there are always the very poor and at many street corners there old ladies lying on the street begging for money while others were a little more passive. Here are some scenes...

This old man looked like he had one leg and was fast asleep at a street corner in the cold.

There were others who instead of begging were more enterprising like this man in Mong Kok awaiting challengers to a game of Chinese chess. I am not sure how it works as no challengers came forward in the time I was there but the obvious aim is you pay to challenge him.

While this man being wrote chinese calligraphy with his feet.