|Clyne | profile | all galleries >> Culture and Festivals >> Firecrackers, Trances, and Self-Torture at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival||tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map|
Despite its name, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of Thailandís most spectacular and exhilarating spectacles. Celebrated during the first nine days of the ninth Lunar Month the festival incorporates temple ceremonies where mediums (Ma Song) enter trances and are possessed by the spirits of the Gods. Every day sees street processions where firecrackers are thrown directly at the devotees and indiscriminately into the crowds. Incredible displays of self-torture, mainly by way of inserting spikes and everyday objects through the cheeks, are undertaken. In preparation participants adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, hence the festivalís name.