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vegetarians on the cutting edge
October 8, 2008 2:42 AM   Subscribe

[warning: not safe for anytime, extreme piercing] The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, when hundreds of spirit mediums torture themselves by piercing sharp spears through their cheeks and other parts of the body. This is believed to avert evil spirits from the community. 28 September - 7 October 2008.

History of the Festival: The Vegetarian Festival started about 150 years ago in the Kathu district, where the majority of the Chinese tin mine workers were settled in Phuket, hit with an epidemic of a fatal disease and the loss of many lives. The next year the Chinese followed the tradition of refraining from eating meat, drinking alcoholic drinks, engaging in sex, quarreling, telling lies or killing. The epidemic ceased, and, every year since, the people of Phuket have continued to celebrate the festival.

The mediums are called mar song.

Videos

Hoax? The latest extreme piercing idea ricocheting around the web, brain piercing.
posted by nickyskye (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
warning: not safe for anytime

In fact, just don't look! Don't click on anything! I don't even know why I posted it! ow, ow, ow, OW!!!!!
posted by Reverend Robbie at 2:55 AM on October 8, 2008


Brain piercing indeed. I know several people whose brains I'd like to pierce. Not with a tiny little ring either. Cool post.
posted by IvoShandor at 2:56 AM on October 8, 2008


just don't look!

Some MeFites have very delicate sensibilities and I didn't want to bother anyone, wanted to give a fair warning. But I like gory stuff on occasion and wanted to share this with those who might enjoy it.
posted by nickyskye at 3:15 AM on October 8, 2008


Phuket? More like Phuk that shit.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:16 AM on October 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Crucifixion in the Phillipines came up here before right?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:17 AM on October 8, 2008


from the brain-piercing article: Doctors say it may cause an irretrievable damage for your brain. But no pleasure comes for free.

no pleasure comes for free? wtf?
posted by jammy at 3:42 AM on October 8, 2008


No.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:51 AM on October 8, 2008


the paricipants are not allowed to eat meat or have sex at the time of the festival.

Having great honking holes in your face would certainly help with the former.

As far as the brain piercing thing - if accurately described, it sounds a bit like trepanation - which is still practiced. I have to say, though, the image that accompanies the article looks like two surface piercings going through the scalp.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:53 AM on October 8, 2008


Huh. When my friend returned from Thailand she told me that "Thai vegetarians make the best kebabs".
posted by bunglin jones at 4:36 AM on October 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Trepanation?! Still?!!! omg louche mustachio. That's shocking. nnnggg.
posted by nickyskye at 4:59 AM on October 8, 2008


som nam na.
posted by the cuban at 5:03 AM on October 8, 2008


But I like gory stuff on occasion and wanted to share this with those who might enjoy it.
posted by nickyskye at 6:15 AM on October 8 [+] [!]


Well, good morning to you too, sunshine!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:26 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Arguably the greatest piercer of all time was Mirin Dajo.

Having worked with Tim "Zamora" Cridland, who pierced himself on a nightly basis, I became somewhat accustomed to his act. But what was always novel was the number of audience members who would faint.

I can honestly say that in my lifetime, I've seen hundreds of people faint...

Great post! I love this stuff!
posted by Tube at 5:46 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vegetarian festival or not, that still counts as meat preparation.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:55 AM on October 8, 2008


[from the last link]: Anyway, can this become a piercing of the future? A constantly happy brain-pierced nation! How does this sound?

How does what sound? (I've already blocked out the rest of this post. Way to go on pressing the fascination/revulsion button in my head.)
posted by not_on_display at 6:04 AM on October 8, 2008


Way to go on pressing the fascination/revulsion button in my head.

You can probably get a real one of those implanted, you know.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:31 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I was in junior high I had a magnetic stud that I used to resemble a lip piercing, so I can totally relate to these guys.
posted by aftermarketradio at 7:42 AM on October 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Brain piercing
posted by kcds at 7:51 AM on October 8, 2008


this is why I never click on the links before posting
posted by b1tr0t at 12:26 AM on October 9, 2008


Well, the piercing thing is outrageous but I thought it's interesting to learn about other cultures. It seems kind of sad they took it on to punish themselves for having become ill.
posted by nickyskye at 1:22 PM on October 9, 2008


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