The Vegetarian Festival (‘Thetsaken Kin Che), also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, is celebrated throughout Thailand in the month of October.
Thai/Chinese descendants, practice abstinence from eating meat and stimulants believing that it will bring about good health and peace of mind to the community. The event has its history in Taoist tradition, but it is clearly practised by Buddhists.
The images I post here are from this year’s parade (2018) as it wound its way through the centre of the old city, Korat.
On route businesses and people are blessed (and strangely) ritual mutilation is performed. Several men and women impale their cheeks with sharp metal and bamboo sticks decorated and undecorated. Cut their faces and light firecrackers close to their bodies. They also had evidence of cutting on their backs.
They seem to appear embodied with the spirits and blessed people (including myself) kneeling at the side of the road, these devotees used their Temple flags which were wafted vigorously over the heads of the kneeling worshippers. No doubt to cast out evil spirits and bless for good health. Some even painted a red mark just between the eyebrows of the worshippers.
At the bottom of this article you will also find a short video of the firecrackers and devotees.