The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand

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The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand
The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand




Explore the shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand and let yourself be amazed of what people can do to their bodies in order to celebrate the annual Thai Vegetarian Festival. Please note that the images in the article can have a strong impact, not to mention attending the festival in person.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand is a very exciting and shocking event (for tourist, mostly) which is held every year for a nine-day period, in October, during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.

The festival is about celebrating the Chinese community’s belief that abstinence from meat will give people good health and piece of mind. Many legends lie behind the origins of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, but the most common story is that a wandering Chinese opera group, who got malaria, brought the festival to Thailand while they were performing in this country.

The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand
The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand

People at the festival celebrate and pray to the Nine Emperor Gods in order to ensure purification of mind and body, and this is where it gets pretty shocking. Eating strictly vegetarian food is not enough for some people and so they take things to the next level.

By piercing their bodies, walking on hot coal and by cutting their cheeks and inserting a large variety of objects, from swords to guns, and from wooden sticks to fruit, people attending the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival will do anything to impress their gods and to purify their bodies.

The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand
The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand

The commitments undertaken by each participant at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival are very strict, but people respect them without questions.

The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand
The Shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival In Thailand

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PHUKET, THAILAND - OCTOBER 11: A devotee of the Chinese shrine of Samkong, pierces his cheeks with wrenchs during a procession of Vegetarian Festival on October 11, 2010 in Phuket, Thailand. Ritual Vegetarianism in Phuket Island traces it roots back to the early 1800's. The festival begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts for nine days. Participants in the festival perform acts of body piercing as a means of shifting evil spirits from individuals onto themselves and bring the community good luck. (Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images)
PHUKET, THAILAND – OCTOBER 11: A devotee of the Chinese shrine of Samkong, pierces his cheeks with wrenchs during a procession of Vegetarian Festival on October 11, 2010 in Phuket, Thailand. Ritual Vegetarianism in Phuket Island traces it roots back to the early 1800’s. The festival begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts for nine days. Participants in the festival perform acts of body piercing as a means of shifting evil spirits from individuals onto themselves and bring the community good luck. (Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images)
TOPSHOTS A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has swords inserted through his cheeks before taking part in a street procession during the annual Vegetarian Festival in the southern Thai town of Phuket on October 10, 2013. During the festival, which begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts nine days, religious devotees slash themselves with swords, pierce their cheeks with sharp objects and commit other painful acts to purify themselves, taking on the sins of the community. AFP PHOTO/Christophe ARCHAMBAULTCHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT:
TOPSHOTS A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has swords inserted through his cheeks before taking part in a street procession during the annual Vegetarian Festival in the southern Thai town of Phuket on October 10, 2013. During the festival, which begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts nine days, religious devotees slash themselves with swords, pierce their cheeks with sharp objects and commit other painful acts to purify themselves, taking on the sins of the community. AFP PHOTO/Christophe ARCHAMBAULTCHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT:

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PHUKET, THAILAND - SEPTEMBER 29: A vegetarian festival devotee parades through the streets on September 29, 2014 in Phuket, Thailand. Ritual Vegetarianism in Phuket Island traces its roots back to the early 1800's. The annual festival begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts for nine days. Participants in the festival perform acts of body piercing as a means of shifting evil spirits from individuals onto themselves and bring the community good luck. The ritualized mutilation is performed at a local Buddhist shrine under a trance-like state and is careful supervised. (Photo by Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images)
PHUKET, THAILAND – SEPTEMBER 29: A vegetarian festival devotee parades through the streets on September 29, 2014 in Phuket, Thailand. Ritual Vegetarianism in Phuket Island traces its roots back to the early 1800’s. The annual festival begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts for nine days. Participants in the festival perform acts of body piercing as a means of shifting evil spirits from individuals onto themselves and bring the community good luck. The ritualized mutilation is performed at a local Buddhist shrine under a trance-like state and is careful supervised. (Photo by Borja Sanchez-Trillo/Getty Images)

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To learn more about the festival or to participate at the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand, visit their official website.