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Pictures | Fri Oct 7, 2022 | 1:08pm EDT

Extreme piercings put devotees in soul-cleansing trance at Thai festival

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Kathu Shrine procession of the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Kathu Shrine procession of the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Kathu Shrine procession of the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 2. Worshippers on Thailand's Phuket island have celebrated a nine-day Taoist festival, with many piercing their faces with metal spikes and walking on hot coals to show devotion to deities.  REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 2. Worshippers on Thailand's Phuket island have celebrated a nine-day Taoist festival, with many piercing their...more

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance at the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 2. Worshippers on Thailand's Phuket island have celebrated a nine-day Taoist festival, with many piercing their faces with metal spikes and walking on hot coals to show devotion to deities. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Ban Tha Rue Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, in Phuket Town, Thailand, September 30. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Ban Tha Rue Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of...more

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Ban Tha Rue Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, in Phuket Town, Thailand, September 30. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the annual vegetarian festival, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the annual vegetarian festival, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the annual vegetarian festival, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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4 / 17
A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 2. Devotees, who abstain from sex, alcohol, and meat during the festival, say the piercings symbolize repentance for sins and is meant to ward off evil spirits.   
 REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 2. Devotees, who abstain from sex, alcohol, and meat during the festival, say the piercings symbolize repentance for sins and is meant to ward off evil spirits. ...more

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 2. Devotees, who abstain from sex, alcohol, and meat during the festival, say the piercings symbolize repentance for sins and is meant to ward off evil spirits. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during Bang Neow Shrine procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 1.    

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during Bang Neow Shrine procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 1. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during Bang Neow Shrine procession during the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 1. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Jui Tui Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Jui Tui Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the...more

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Jui Tui Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, in Phuket Town, Thailand, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium man with his mouth and body pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 3. The tradition goes back some 150 years. Legend has it a Chinese opera troupe fell ill in Phuket but made a full recovery after observing a vegetarian diet and performing rituals to the Emperor Gods.   


REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth and body pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 3. The tradition goes back some 150 years. Legend has it a Chinese opera troupe fell ill in Phuket but made a full recovery after observing a vegetarian diet and...more

A medium man with his mouth and body pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 3. The tradition goes back some 150 years. Legend has it a Chinese opera troupe fell ill in Phuket but made a full recovery after observing a vegetarian diet and performing rituals to the Emperor Gods. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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8 / 17
A medium man with his mouth and body pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth and body pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth and body pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Kathu Shrine procession during the vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, October 3. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Kathu Shrine procession during the vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, October 3. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Kathu Shrine procession during the vegetarian festival in Phuket Town, October 3. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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10 / 17
A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed during the Jui Tui Shrine procession of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community, in Phuket Town, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed during the Jui Tui Shrine procession of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community, in Phuket Town, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman with her mouth pierced is portrayed during the Jui Tui Shrine procession of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community, in Phuket Town, October 2. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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11 / 17
A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 1. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 1. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, October 1. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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12 / 17
A medium woman Patcharaporn Phromchai with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Ban Tha Rue Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, September 30. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman Patcharaporn Phromchai with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Ban Tha Rue Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, September 30. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium woman Patcharaporn Phromchai with her mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Ban Tha Rue Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, September 30. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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13 / 17
A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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14 / 17
A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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15 / 17
A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Samkong Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, in Phuket Town, Thailand, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Samkong Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the...more

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance during the Samkong Shrine procession amidst celebrations of the annual vegetarian festival, observed by Taoist devotees from the Thai-Chinese community in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, in Phuket Town, Thailand, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A medium man with his mouth pierced is portrayed while in trance, September 29. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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