Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens

Caitlin Ashworth

Published 

 on 

Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Marina Krasnopolska
  • follow us in feedly

WARNING! Content below contains photos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

The flags on Go Teng poles were lowered on Monday, ending Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival and symbolising that the spirits have returned the heavens. The flags are raised at the start of the festivities each year at participating shrines, calling on the spirits to descend from the heavens.

This year, 2 men were electrocuted while taking down the festival flags. A steel pole with the flag touched a power pole, electrocuting and burning the workers as they were trying to lower the flags. They were taken to the hospital.

During the festival’s street processions and ceremonies so-called “mah songs” channel the descended spirits. They enter a trance-like state and many practice self-mutilation to channel the spirits. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and some say the mah song acts as a horse for the spirit to ride.

Some mah song pierce their cheeks and other parts of their body with steel spikes and sometimes swords or other bizarre choices (we’ve seen petrol pumps, javelins, samurai swords and kitchen utensils). During the street procession, they walk for hours with the self-inflicted piercings, seemingly posessed by ‘spirits’ and muttering all sort of strange chants, verging on mild cases of Tourette syndrome. A team of devotees for each mah song wipe away blood and keep the wounds clean. Some mah songs even slice their tongue for the street procession. Blood drips on their chest and the ground. Waiting bystanders line the streets hoping for the blessing of a passing mah song. Some mah songs carry a black flag.

The event is an annual spiritual ‘cleansing’ for those in watching the processions. Onlookers lining the street bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position as the mah song waves flags and banners over their heads. Businesses along the procession route often set up an altar outside their shop and mah songs stop at each one to do a short ritual.

The Phuket government gave the festival organisers the “okay” to hold this years event with hopes that it would increase domestic tourism and generate much-needed revenue after the Thai government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic crippled Phuket’s tourist economy. Before this year’s festival, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana asked that the mah songs “limit the level of torturing.” He also called for a limit on the number of people at ceremonies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

His calls were largely ignored.

The spirits will again return in 2021 to Phuket again cleanse the island’s large Thai-Chinese community.

Photos of the 2020 Vegetarian Festival by Marina Krasnopolska.

Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Hua Hin

Children injured on Hua Hin carnival ride, no safety certification submitted

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Children injured on Hua Hin carnival ride, no safety certification submitted | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

3 children were injured when a carnival ride malfunctioned at the Hua Hin Red Cross Festival in Prachuap Khiri Khan. The required safety certification was not submitted and local officials are investigating, according to Mayor Nopphon Wutthikul. Carnival rides now are closed for the duration of the festival.

“Preliminary inspection revealed that they had yet to submit safety certification signed by licensed engineers from related government agencies. We will further investigate this matter to find out if there was misconduct by any official.”

The children were on an octopus amusement ride when the hydraulics system failed. Children rode in colourful cars attached to arms that arch and connect to a central axis, resembling the shape of an octopus. The central axis spins and goes up and down.

10 children were on the ride around 10pm Friday when the hydraulics system broke, according to the festival organiser Pannee Klomtheri. A Facebook user made a post saying she saw the ride collapse. Pannee says the injuries are not serious.

“Three children were injured and were sent to Bangkok Hua Hin Hospital with some bruises. Doctors said all the kids are now fine. There was no death caused by the incident.”

Pannee says the octopus ride and other nearby rides will be closed while local officials inspect the site. The festival ends on December 6.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Events

Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

Pattaya firework party lights up the weekend | VIDEO | The Thaiger

After much anticipation, the Pattaya Fireworks Festival lit up the sky this past weekend, delighting spectators with beautiful night beachside spectacle. More importantly, it was the first time Pattaya was packed with tourists since March this year, albeit mostly Thai tourists.

The event program was packed with long fireworks shows with hotels offering promotions for advanced bookings in an attempt to provide a much-needed boost to the local economy over the weekend.

To watch some of last night’s events from Mike Bridge, click HEREand HERE.

The annual festival saw Thais and foreigners taking part in the festivities as local bars, pubs, restaurants, and food vendors enjoying a bit more padding in their pockets. Organisers didn’t disappoint as they carried out their assurances to provide a world-class show with 4 fireworks shows per night. Such titles as “Shining in Sky,” “Paradise Pattaya, Everyday for Everyone,” “Pattaya Twilight, Decorated Stars,” and “Light is Life,” summed up the shows’ themes.

During one of the shows’ breaks, a 45 minute concert by popular Thai artist “Mean” graced the ears of onlookers, while an elephant show, by the Pattaya Elephant Camp, proved to be a sight for sore eyes. Marching bands featuring local Thai students started from the North Pattaya area and parading down Beach Road to the main stage area, located near Central Festival Mall filled the air with music, along with tiger shows and an art show by Nong Nooch Botanical Garden rounding up the schedule.

The popular Thai rock band “Big Ass” wrapped up the last fireworks show at 9:30 pm, with another popular Thai band “Boom Boom Cash” rocking out the night.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Events

Pattaya Fireworks Festival hoped to boost economy over upcoming weekend

The Thaiger

Published

on

Pattaya Fireworks Festival hoped to boost economy over upcoming weekend | The Thaiger

The Pattaya Fireworks Festival is approaching with many hoping it will boost the economy over the upcoming weekend. Stacked with long fireworks shows and some hotels offering promotional fares for advance bookings, officials say they hope it will wake up the weekend as Thais and foreigners alike take part in the annual short list festival.

The festival runs over November 27 and 28.

Most hotels, particularly set on the beach, have created limited promotional room rates with some offering package deals. Pubs, restaurants, and food vendors will surely benefit from the festival as the international air travel restriction has made it difficult to keep their businesses alive.

Pattaya Fireworks Festival hoped to boost economy over upcoming weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Prayut acquitted, Chinese probe, Speed limit 120 kph | December 2 | The Thaiger
Thailand23 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Prayut acquitted, Chinese probe, Speed limit 120 kph | December 2

Thailand News Today | No ‘tourism’ until Q2, Tiger smuggling, Win drivers jailed | Dec 1 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | No ‘tourism’ until Q2, Tiger smuggling, Win drivers jailed | Dec 1

Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26 | The Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Coconut Business, Weekend protests, Pork dressed as Beef | November 13

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | More Thai Airways debt, Korean soldier, TripAdvisor warning | November 12

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending