India: Worshippers pierce bodies and swing from hooks in honour of Shiva *GRAPHIC*

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Hindu worshippers had their skin pierced and were hung from metal hooks as an act of penance during the Charak Puja folk festival in Purulia, West Bengal, on Sunday.

Dozens of men had their backs pierced with hooks and then were suspended from a roundabout with a crane during the Charak Puja festival (also known as Nil Puja) to honour Lord Shiva.

Devotees participate in the festival to rid themselves of the sorrow and suffering they experienced during the previous year and hopefully bring prosperity in the following year to come.

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