Thousands of people flock to Tamil Nadu, a southern Indian state, to take part in the painful practice every year.
Men, women and even children patiently sit in lines as godmen are handed large coconuts, before bringing them crashing down on their skulls.
Each year dozens are tended by medical staff for serious injuries – prompting doctors to warn that the practice is potentially deadly and ironically hazardous to health, according to The Daily Mail.
Kumar Peethambaran, a neurosurgery professor at the Indian governments medical college, told local media: ‘There is a certain amount of tolerance for the skull beyond which it will cause damage.
‘If the coconut breaks, the energy is dissipated, but when it doesn’t this can cause damage to the skull.’
But despite the warnings, many refuse to stop the ancient tradition, which is thought to have begun in the 19th century.
One devotee said: ‘My family have been coming here for years. Today four of us have come for the ritual. The coconuts broke well – we hope it brings success.’