Documentation of the Tamil festival of Mariamman (also called Trishula festival) in Mumbai.
Mariamma is the Hindu goddess of rain, worshipped and revered by thousands in rural areas of South India. People and pilgrims pray to her for bringing rain and curing diseases like cholera, smallpox, and chickenpox. She is considered to be an ultimate protector by her devotees.
The worship rituals are accompanied by various kinds of folk dances and a primary ritual takes place on the road which is about a mile or two from the temple. A hurried walk and dance carry hundreds of thousands of worshippers along the road to the temple. Many in the crowd fast, shave their head and wear bright yellow clothes which are sacred to the goddess. Women and children carry a pot on their heads decorated with the goddess’s favorite leaves, from the Margosa tree. Young men and women carrying similar pots are followed by drummers and dance more wildly. Adult men and women carry pots of charcoal fire. Some put themselves through a special tribulation of having sacred weapons like daggers, tridents, or sharp spears, inserted through their cheeks or tongues. Through this worship, each individual achieves self-realization and awareness of samsara and moksha. (Source: Wikipedia)