Ligaya in West Thailand

Phuket's Vegetarian Festival.

Parade of the Sui Boon Tong Shrine.

The second parade that we saw was organised by the Sui Boon Tong Shrine. It started off in a very mellow fashion, with modest "floats" brightly decorated.

I particularly liked this man with his very ornate bicycle.

I also liked these tricycle "rickshaws". How much nice Phuket town must have been when these were the main form of transport.
Many of the floats were built on motorbikes, either with sidecars, or in this case, on the back of a three-wheeler.

We had just commented that the colourful floats made a change from the blood and gore of the first parade, when these axe-men appeared.

They stopped at regular intervals and hit themselves on the back and on the forehead to draw blood.

Many of the piercings were very elaborate. This man had a very colourful collection of piercings.

This one made me cringe more than most.

Even without the giant kebab sticks stuck through the tongue, it would have been very uncomfortable just having your tongue stuck out like that for the three or four hours of the parade, not to mention all the needles stuck in his face and arms.

 

You often hear the claim that the piercings leave no scars. Ones like this certainly do - you can see many people with big scars on their faces.

What must these small kids be thinking?

Unlike the first parade that we saw, women took an active part in this parade, with plenty of them piercing their faces too.

There were some really bizarre piercings in this parade. This guy had the handlebars off his motorbike stuck through his face. How weird is that?

Hard to imagine, but these two women seem to have seen the funny side in what they are doing. I cannot imagine seeing the funny side of much if I had two skewers stuck through my face.

This guy was not content with just the piercings or just the axe, he obliviously felt compelled to do both.

I think this man holds the record for the most skewers you can stick through your face at any one time.

This woman seems quite serene about the whole thing.

Various groups of men were carrying ceremonial chairs, each of which held a disproportionately small figure.

At all too regular intervals, one of the group would stuff a bunch of fire crackers under the seat, and light them.

I love the indignant expression on the face of the statue, when faced with the indignity of the fireworks going under the seat.

They do not let off the firecrackers one or two at a time. This guy is getting ready to light a string of several hundred that will go off in very quick succession.

As each group comes down the street, it is a little intimidating. Some times it is hard to remember that it is a religious festival.
We had earplugs. The noise is quite literally deafening. I bet this little girls wishes she had some.

This guy is cleaning his axe ready for more action. He almost seems to be saying " Who's next?"

This chap does not look too happy about the whole thing.

Just how many kebab sticks can you get coming out of one mouth?

This couple are a perfect match for each other.

He should offer to do some pruning for her.

It is not cool to duck and flinch when the firecrackers go off. We always did both of the above, each time, despite wearing ear plugs.
This was another one that made me shiver - the guy licking the blade of his axe and repeatedly cutting his tongue.
The axe on the forehead was not much more appealing though.
At the end of the parade, this lady, riding in the back of a pink pickup truck, was dispensing blessings, splashing holy water onto the faithful using a bunch of leaves.

... and then there were just all the dead firecrackers for the street-cleaners to sweep up. Literally millions of fire crackers must get used in the nine days. The route of this parade was about 3 or 4 miles, and the whole length was covered in dead fire crackers.

Back to Phuket page.

Back to the first parade.

Back to the Food Street.

To Ao Po and the area around the marina

Bang Rong - a fishing village in the mangroves.

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