For the population of the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, January 28 is an important date in the religious calendar.
GV: Indians in front of alter, preparing to participate in ceremony (three shots)
SV & TILT DOWN: Young Indians having pins laced through their skin (two shots)
SV: Men decorating spears (two shots)
SV: Young men displaying pins covering their bodies (three shots)
SV: Older man with a number of small balls pinned to his chest.
GV & SCU: Young boy and general crows watching the ceremony
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Background: For the population of the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, January 28 is an important date in the religious calendar. In the south-eastern city of Saint Louis, this year's festivities attracted the usual crop of tourists, eager to witness the colourful ceremony dedicated to Mourouga, the divine son of Shiva and Parvati. After a traditional ten-day period of penance and prayer, the faithful prepared themselves for the high point of the festival -- the procession to the local temple. They adorned themselves with pins, laced through the skin in intricate patterns simulating the plumage of the peacock -- Muorouga's emblem -- and then headed for the temple, carrying structures of bamboo laden with flowers and fruit; their offerings to the young god. The festival celebrated Mourouga's victory over the demon Sourabathan and humanity's potential ability to overcome the ever present evil in its midst.