Bloody But Colourful: The Extreme Celebrations in the Thai Vegetarian Festival

Published October 13th, 2018 - 07:58 GMT

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The Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand is a colourful event held in October. The festival begins on the first evening of the 9th lunar month and lasts for nine days.

This festival celebrating the Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.

The festival is famous for its extreme celebrations. Many religious devotees slashing themselves with swords, piercing their cheeks with sharp objects and commit other painful acts to purify themselves, taking on the sins of the community. Continue reading below »

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with coloured yarn through large piercings in his face during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with coloured yarn through large piercings in his face during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a metal jug pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a metal jug pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a sword and a cover pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a sword and a cover pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a spear pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a spear pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a sword pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a sword pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has multiple skewers pierced through his cheeks during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has multiple skewers pierced through his cheeks during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with coloured yarn through large piercings in his face during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 1 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with coloured yarn through large piercings in his face during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a metal jug pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 2 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a metal jug pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a sword and a cover pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 3 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a sword and a cover pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 4 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 5 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine cuts his tongue on an axe as he parades during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a spear pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 6 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parades with a spear pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 7 of 10Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a sword pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 8 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has a sword pierced through his cheek during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 9 of 10Devotees of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine parade during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has multiple skewers pierced through his cheeks during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

Image 10 of 10A devotee of the Loem Hu Thai Su shrine has multiple skewers pierced through his cheeks during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket on October 12, 2018. Jewel SAMAD/AFP

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