Thai Men Go To Gruesome Lengths To Celebrate This Festival

Celebrating the annual vegetarian festival this year in Phuket, Thai men force spikes, swords, poles and even guns through their cheeks to ward off evil spirits.  This tradition involves celebrating the abstinence of meat and it dates back to the 1800s. Many devotees of the Chinese Samkong shrine and Chinese Ban Thai Rue shrine dedicate nine days of worship with self mutilation and detaining from every day products.

 

Forcing countless spikes through their lips, cheeks and forehead, these Thai men show their devotion in celebrating the 2015 vegetarian festival in Phuket.

 

 

As the festival continues, men go to the extremes by putting the barrel of a gun through a hole in their cheeks and out the side of their mouth.  Their mouth often has to bear a great deal of weight and the men often have spotters to hold up their swords or guns.

 

Along with physically representing their passion, the men meditate for hours. Mediums are brought into the room to cleanse the air and to help the men prepare for their sacrifice of the skin.

The more physical pain that is endured the more respect for the man. As this man walks the streets he manages to fit 13 knives through just one hole in his mouth.

They believe the act of piercing can shift evil spirits.  After displaying their degree of devotion, the men prepare for weeks of painful recovery, until next year.