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India holidays news: Thaipusam festival is 'stunning and unexpected'

Early 2010 may be a perfect time to book cultural India holidays, as the ancient Hindu festival of Thaipusam will take place in the south-east of the country.

Held at temples throughout the Tamil Nadu region, the religious celebration takes place between January and February. Participants take the opportunity to ask Lord Subramanya - the universal granter of wishes - for favours, or to repent past sins.

To do this, they prove their dedication to their religion by piercing themselves and dancing through the streets to the backdrop of instrumental and vocal music.

Aryabhatt.com describes the festival as "stunning" and "totally unexpected", before adding: "The exuberance of the agriculturists and their lusty participation lends unique splendour to the temple."

Travellers who wish to experience the unique religious ceremony for themselves may wish to consider booking onto one of Adventure Company's India's Mystical South group holidays, or the Spicelands & Elephants Family Holiday.

If this article sparks your imagination then have a look at our Cultural discovery or our India holidays page