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Pictures | Fri Oct 11, 2013 | 7:30pm EDT

Extreme vegetarian festival

<p>A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with blades pierced through his cheek, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. The festival, featuring face-piercing, spirit mediums and strict vegetarianism, celebrates the local Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.    REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with blades pierced through his cheek, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. The festival, featuring face-piercing, spirit mediums and strict...more

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with blades pierced through his cheek, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. The festival, featuring face-piercing, spirit mediums and strict vegetarianism, celebrates the local Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.    REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.   REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with two pistols pierced through his cheeks takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with two pistols pierced through his cheeks takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with two pistols pierced through his cheeks takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with his torso wrapped in barbed wire, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with his torso wrapped in barbed wire, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with his torso wrapped in barbed wire, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.   REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with two umbrellas pierced through his cheeks, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with two umbrellas pierced through his cheeks, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine, with two umbrellas pierced through his cheeks, takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine cuts himself on his tongue as he takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.    REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine cuts himself on his tongue as he takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine cuts himself on his tongue as he takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.    REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.   REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has two guns pierced through his cheeks before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has two guns pierced through his cheeks before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has two guns pierced through his cheeks before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine has another spike pierced through his cheeks before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.   REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine has another spike pierced through his cheeks before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine has another spike pierced through his cheeks before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine work themselves into a trance before a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with a blade pierced through his tongue prepares for a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with a blade pierced through his tongue prepares for a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with a blade pierced through his tongue prepares for a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with a sword pierced through his cheek takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with a sword pierced through his cheek takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine with a sword pierced through his cheek takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Devotees of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Devotees of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Devotees of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine carry a religious statue through exploding firecrackers during a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has another blade pierced through his cheek before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has another blade pierced through his cheek before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has another blade pierced through his cheek before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has a sword pierced through his cheek before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013.  REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has a sword pierced through his cheek before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine has a sword pierced through his cheek before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

A devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine takes part in a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Two men push their fingers through the pierced cheeks of a devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine during a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Two men push their fingers through the pierced cheeks of a devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine during a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Two men push their fingers through the pierced cheeks of a devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine during a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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<p>Blood trickles down the tattooed torso of a devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine as he is pierced before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha</p>

Blood trickles down the tattooed torso of a devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine as he is pierced before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Blood trickles down the tattooed torso of a devotee of the Chinese Bang Neow Shrine as he is pierced before the beginning of a street procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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