Indian devotees endure whipping to be blessed

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons/Vinoth Chandar

Devotees at a temple in Tamil Nadu celebrated an annual festival known as Vijayathasami by breaking coconuts on their heads and getting whipped with a rope, Tamil Nesan reported.

On the first day of the festivities, the devotees conduct rituals to seek blessings for their tools and weapons such as sickles and machetes.

Some devotees also offer coconuts, breaking them on their head.

On the second day, female devotees line up outside the temple to be whipped by the priest.

The belief is that this ritual wards off evil spirits and helps the women conceive.