Vegetarian devotees parade with swords piercing their cheeks

26th October 2006

In a parade to promote vegetarianism, devotees to the Chinese Shrine Ban Tha Rue march through Phunket in Thailand with their cheeks pierced with swords.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.

Devotees to the Chinese Shrine Ban Tha Rue have their cheeks pierced with swords as part of their religious beliefs that promote vegetarianism.

During this festival, local residents strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making.

A Thai sticks swords through his cheeks