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October 11, 2008

Phuket's Nine Emperor Gods (Vegetarian Festival) Street Procession

Warning: This post may offend. If you have blood phobia please click on the red 'x' on the top right of your browser.

Our Phuket trip was somewhat a festive one. I've lived a quarter century but that was the first time I ever witnessed a 'bloody' street procession, it was really terrifying! Yes...it's the Nine Emperor Gods (Vegetarian Festival) street procession I'm talking about. The itinerary was not planned on purpose but due to coincidence, we decided not to miss the opportunity.

As adviced by our travel agent, we need to wear white colour outfits if we were to watch the procession or visit the temples. The night before that day we all went shopping for white tops. It was a right decision we made to follow the local custom, or else we would look like a group of 6 aliens on the street...

We departed at 8am in the morning and reached Phuket Town around 9am. The streets were already blocked and were full of people with white outfits. We could see a "big white sea" from afar. Those who were not in white outfit were mostly foreigners.

Let me present you the photographers of this post...

The story begins at this road junction -- PHANGNGA ROAD.

Before we go to the extreme photos, calm down with a gentle one first... "Pretty woman, walking down the street.."

I've seen some street parades in Malaysia but this one was really grand. I think most of the temples took part in it. Flags...flags...flags...you see the names of temples...

In order to prove that I'm was present...there I was, standing right at the 3rd row from the front for the parade. I then moved to the front row after this to complete my mission (take photograph lar).

The weather was super sunny, yet it didn't stop the people from coming. The umbrella functioned as a shield for popping firecrackers.

Due to too many participants in the street possesion, I could only try my best to arrange the photos in sequence. But mostly are the same...TERRIFYING!! Knives poked through their cheeks...not only one but up to 3 or 4! Those knives were huge enough for mincing meat.

Then spears!! Nicely decorated spears!! Do you think he looks like a peacock??

And..free tongue piercing!

This is our favourite topic till today... A possessed man holding an umbrella....

Take a closer look....


I can guarantee you that this is not a trick!! The umbrella was so heavy that he needed an assistant to help him hold it along the parade. *wtf*

Some prefer to decorate their spears with fruits and flowers....more gentle-looking effect.

...or maybe dragon looks better?

It's been a long while I haven't hear the sound of firecracker. In the parade, they lighted the firecracker nonstop and threw the firecrackers to the middle of the road!!! You could see the whole street turned smoky.

"Mummy...can I just turn around until the parade ends?"

"Well, actually I'm not quite sure why I was here...for blessings I guess."

Philip said we needed some 'refreshers' despite the bloody scenes. So he focused his camera on something else.

All gods went for the parade. Which one looks familiar?

If you were to ask me to vote which one is the most extreme,this is it!! Sawing tongue with a 5 feet saw!!! *wtf*

And also this guy...blood dripping all over his body but there was no danger to his life??! Amazing huh!

Chopping themselves with sword and axes... Do you dare to try that??

Spectators were required to squad down just in case they missed their grip!!

Well I guess everyone prefers to watch this...God of Fortune and lion & dragon dance~ But I don't like the lion...it looked dull.

And personally I found this very attractive~ Colours of festival, how cheerful it is in contrast with the bloody scenes.

Last but not least, this is what the Malaysians should learn from their neighbour Thais...efficiency and effectiveness...and also sense of responsibility and cleanliness.

People can do it but we can't?

Everyone after finished praying started to clean up.

It's just 5 minutes after the parade and the whole area was swept clean!

In order to give you a more lively experience, click on the video clips specially prepared just for you.


nice photo..Gambateh..take more photo for next trip..Amazing Nine Emperor Gods..!!!

this is incredible. when i was there the festival just started, so i missed the parade. i salute their effectiveness on the cleaniness part though...

looks like Malaysia Thaipusam lol. but quite extreme...scary..

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