Got back on Wednesday from four days at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. Before anyone gets the crazy idea that I am eschewing meat, I didn't go for the food, but rather for the rather unusual ceremonies that are performed there. Local Tsaoist of Chinese descent gather at the local shrines, pierce themselves with a variety of different objects, and then parade through Phuket Town.
By piercing, I don't mean that they make tiny holes like you might get for an earring. No, they actually make holes in their cheeks large enough to fit knives, saw blades, barrels of funs, and even beach umbrella stands. Its amazing and disturbing all at the same time.
I went two years ago and took photos and decided to return. Actually, I wanted to go last year, but it fell on the same week as the kids were off school. While last time I did take photos of the parade, this time I managed to get to the shrine to actually see them do the piercings. And yes, I have the photos to prove it. I'll load them up as I process them.
I have a lot more to write about this trip, but wanted to share some photos first.