The Vegetarian Festival (‘Thetsakan Kin Che’), also know as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, is celebrated throughout Thailand in the month of October. At the beginning of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, particularly the Thai of Chinese descent, practise abstinence from eating meat and stimulants believing it will bring about good health and peace of mind to the community. The event has Taoist origins, but the local participants are clearly Buddhist. On October 16th the accompanying parade found its way through the city center of Korat. On the route businesses were blessed and (to my personal surprise) ritual mutilation was performed. Several men impaled their cheeks with all sorts of objects, cut their tongues with machetes, lit fire crackers close to their bodies and showed traces of whips on their backs. They also seemed to induce a trance-like state, with their eyes rolling back. Pictures are available if you continue reading, but aren’t for the faint-hearted. Viewer discretion is advised (nsfw).
Videos. More videos are currently being uploaded and will be available on the GlitteratiLive Youtube channel when processed. (sorry for the haphazard approach to filming, the parade caught me by surprise)
Pictures (click to start slideshow, and let the pictures load for a little while)