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This rather graphic video shows Thai-Chinese Taoists taking part in the Phuket Vegetarian Festival parade in Phuket, Thailand.

Part of the Nine Emperor Gods celebration, the annual event lasts for three days, and is most famous for the devotees conducting scared rituals, such as inserting all manner of sharp objects into their faces and bodies.

The entranced devotees wander the streets with large ceremonial blades emerging from various parts of their anatomies, attracting a lot of tourists and spectators to the celebration every year.

Devotees Pierce Themselves With Swords, Knives And Skewers In Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Taoists take part in such rituals as a means of displaying their devotion to their beliefs and to gain the protection of the Chinese gods. They also believe that it helps them remain calm and focused.

Another key aspect of the tradition is abstinence from meat, alcohol and sex, as the devotees feel this is a way of maintaining the purity of their minds and bodies.

The impaling is carried out by community doctors only, plus professional medical teams are always on hand for the duration of the festival on the very uncommon occasion that something may go wrong.

Scarring and stitching is rare, and the devotees are always able to return to normal daily activity once the celebrations are over.


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