A festival I have wanted to visited for the longest time.
I’m planning a trip to Phuket, Thailand for the Vegetarian Festival which starts from 29Sept – 7 October 2008. Update : Bought my airticket via AirAsia, I’m finally going!
The festival’s actual name, the Nine Emperor God (Kiu Ong Lah) festival is held annually in the ninth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar is unique to the Chinese community here in Phuket. The locals, observe a 10 day vegetarian diet along with spiritual cleansing similar in style like the Indians worshippers of Lord Murugan Thaipusam Festival.
Many sacred rituals are performed during this period involves fire-walking, self mutilations and torture, divine posssesions, body/face piercings.
Gruesome Video on the piercings and procession
National Geographic Taboo Documentary – not very detailed and more related to the ritual understandings and cultural aspects.
If you understand Cantonese or read Mandarin, here’s a brief detailed documentary on what the ceremony is all about.