PHUKET: This year’s Vegetarian Festival in Phuket is fully underway, with processions of devotees marching to Chinese shrines across the island for the second day of rituals this week.
Yesterday, devotees and festival participants gathered at Choor Su Gong Naka shrine for the first street procession of the festival.
Crowds gathered at the Bang Ku shrine today for a second day of smoke-shrouded processions in which devotees (ma song) pierce their bodies and faces with swords and skewers.
The grisly spectacle ostensibly demonstrates followers’ conviction in their beliefs that they are protected by spirits that possess them during the festival.
A major procession is planned for tomorrow, starting at 7:30am, heading from Bangkok Hospital Phuket to Saphan Hin (story here).
— Sukawin Tanthavanich
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