We’re currently in the midst of the Thailand Vegetarian Festival that takes place in the carnival like atmosphere of Phuket. Although you might think a vegetarian festival involves loads of people eating falafels and trading exciting vegan recipes, it’s a completely different entity over in Thailand.
Although there is an emphasis on being vegetarian, there’s also an emphasis on abstaining from drinking alcohol and having sex during the nine day festival though. The kicker though is all the people that willingly stick knives and guns through their cheeks in order to symbolically absorb the sins of the community. They then run around on hot coals to help with this too.
This doesn’t really sound like my kind of festival – in fact it sounds kind of like the opposite of a festival I would attend with the no alcohol and no sex rules – but you’ve got to respect these Chinese Thai traditions however messed up they might seem to you. There’s a slideshow of pictures below from the festival and I’ve got to warn you that they get considerably more messed up as the slideshow progresses. The people with knives and guns through their cheeks might be too much for some people, so if you’re about to eat, then I honestly recommend not clicking all the way through.
(Use the arrow keys below to scroll through the slideshow.)