Extreme piercings at Phuket vegetarian festival in Thailand, in pictures

No, it is not “Olympics in pain». It is the annual vegetarfestivalen in Phuket in Thailand, it has now begun.

It has become so famous festival is also called the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, and the most visual impressions from the nine-day long celebration.

The participants made it a bit longer than the usual nose ring or a necklace in the eyebrow.

Spades, knives, pistols, assault rifles, umbrellas and other metal objects are among the participants drills through the oral cavity.

One of the pictures shows even a young man who has pierced a tricycle in his mouth.

In Thailand, this festival is called thetsakan kin che เทศกาลกินเจ, the Vegetarian Festival. It is celebrated throughout the entire country, but the festivities are at their height in Phuket, where about 35% of the population is Thai Chinese. It attracts crowds of spectators because of many of the unusual religious rituals that are performed.

In accordance with the traditions, many religious devotees will perform ritualized mutilation upon themselves and one another (with the consent of, context and understanding of all involved and the practice itself) while under a trance-like state, including but not limited to: impaling through cheeks, arms, face, legs, back etc., with everything from as small as syringes to as large as is agreed upon between all members; partial skinning (the skin is not removed, just cut and flipped over); slashing of limbs, chest, stomach and especially tongue with swords, axes and knives; bloodletting; removal of tissue (normally limited to cysts) and intentionally wrapping or standing near fire crackers as they are lit.

The purpose of this practice is a mixture of veneration for their gods and ancestors, to display their devotion to their beliefs and the trance itself, which although anecdotal in nature to what is experienced, has a profound impact upon demeanour for days or weeks after, frequently with devotees appearing exceptionally calm and focused in their day-to-day activities after the festival is completed.

The timing of the festival is calculated from the Chinese lunar calendar, and starts on the first evening of the ninth Chinese month.

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