Ritual piercings mark annual Taoist festival in Thailand


A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Kathu Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, in Phuket Town, Thailand. - Reuters

PHUKET, Thailand Oct 4 (Reuters): Worshippers on Thailand's Phuket island have celebrated a nine-day Taoist festival, with many piercing their faces with metal spikes and walking on hot coals to show devotion to deities.

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival, which was suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, drew thousands of people from the ethnic Chinese community, who marched from a temple in traditional costume.

Devotees, who abstain from sex, alcohol, and meat during the festival, say the piercings symbolise repentance for sins and is meant to ward off evil spirits.

"We may have spoken good or bad things, so the piercing is for us to feel the wrong and sins we've committed," said Patcharaporn Phromchai, after she removed a metal spike skewering her cheeks.

The tradition goes back some 150 years.

Legend has it a Chinese opera troupe fell ill in Phuket but made a full recovery after observing a vegetarian diet and performing rituals to the Emperor Gods.

The piercing is believed to have been influenced by the Indian Thaipusam festival. - Reuters

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Thailamd , Ritual Piercing , Phuket

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines as at 9pm on Tuesday (Nov 29)
18 months’ probation for man who downloaded photos of children being sexually abused
Civil service committed to implement reform agenda under PM Anwar, says Chief Secretary to the Government�
Ex-boxing referee admits cheating to help Pacquiao win fight 22 years ago
Jokowi's volunteer rally riles party elites
King grants first audience to Anwar since his appointment as PM
Indonesia military chief seeks drills to counter China
Vietnamese movie wins first prize at international film festival in France
Cambodian boy visited by S. Korea’s first lady to get free treatment at top Seoul hospital
PM issues letter demanding apology from Baling MP over audio alleging Israel links

Others Also Read