Jamie's Phuket Blog

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2008 Pictures

Well this year I wanted to see something different during the festival. I admit to being a lazy boy sometimes, but today I was awake before dawn and headed to Kathu Shrine before 6am to watch the start of the procession to Phuket Town, and hopefully see some face piercing close up. Actually, the word "piercing" does not describe what happens. Something like "skewering" or "mutilation" might be better! I am not squeamish, but... hint, if you are squeamish, I suggest heading to a different page on this blog!

It was hard to see inside the shrine, but the "Ma Song" were coming out in various stages of trance, and faces were duly threaded with knives, swords, guns, all manner of odd shaped metal pieces. You'd need 20 pairs of eyes to see all that was going on there. I was with a friend, Phil, who is director of the Helicam company in Phuket, so he's a "pro" photographer, but this was new to him too! Thanks for Phil for lending me a Canon G7 camera. Some photos were taken with the G7, some with my trusty Powershot. Some photos taken by Phil. By next year, I would like to upgrade to a bigger, better camera. These small lenses have trouble in low light. Enough tech talk.

All photos below were taken this morning in Kathu Shrine or as the procession started out of Kathu Village heading towards Phuket Town. I also have some video (the Powershot has a basic video function) - this will be added later along with some pics from Phuket Town. This is very real stuff, no excuse for lazing on the beach and missing it. Well worth planning a holiday to Phuket around it. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival rocks!

Kathu Shrine, 6th October 2008

Suits you, Madam

Sword in cheek, photo by Philip Clark

Multiple swords, very ouch baby.

The right to bear arms?

In a trance... photo by Philip Clark.

Steel wire in face. Tell me this doesn't hurt! Photo by Philip Clark.

Getting impaled by multiple needles. Photo by Philip Clark.

No pain, no gain.

Multiple piercing guy. Photo by Phil Clark.

Close up. Pierced and ready to go.

Sword face. Photo by Phil Clark.

The procession left Kathu Shrine little by little. When people were ready, off they went. Once all the Ma Song had left, the gods were carried out and on the road to Phuket Town. Next photos are in Kathu Village.

You'd think one sword would suffice?

This guy had a 4 meter metal rod in his face. Photo by Phil Clark.

Another gun in the face

Procession in Kathu Village

We'll finish with the gods being carried out of Kathu as the sun rises and a thousand firecrackers explode creating a fog of smoke. Walking along with the procession you get pounded by sound. I won't say it again. Sit on the beach or wake up late if you want. But this is something to experience.

Carrying the gods in Kathu Village

Vegetarian festival procession, carrying the gods in Kathu

More Photos : Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2008 - Part 2

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