Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cape Panwa’s Vegetarian Festival experience

What did they see? 

The procession started simply with groups of people smiling and laughing. A devotee interrupted this with a spiked metal ball on a rope that he was lashing his back with.

the facial piercing and self mutilation photographs which can be viewed 
by clicking the link can be disturbing to some people.

Click her for some more photographs of self mutilation in the festival.

A teenage girl passed by with a dummy in her mouth, running through the parade with a team of followers – this was a person who was possessed by a spirit.

Then came many more devotees - their faces pierced by a variety of objects – the main one that springing to mind was a beach umbrella!  Click here for some
photographs of self piercings - then came the man who was shaving his tongue with an axe - and more piercings!

Small explosions came from further in Phuket Town – Tim and his team decided to investigate.  Here there were groups with headscarves on and sunglasses – and they were parading on two poles a Chinese effigy.  People around them were throwing packs of firecrackers at them – THE NOISE WAS INCREDIBLE and the
atmosphere electric!

There was a brief respite when the explosions stopped and  the road was filled with cars which had beautifully adorned ladies handing out sweets to the onlookers or sitting in a trance on the back of vehicle….

Every so often a person entranced by a medium would stop outside a
building that had an offering on a table – words were said – a paper was given and fruit shared – the spirits had blessed the building.

The calmness continued for a little and then
more crashes and explosions were heard coming from town – it was from the Clockhouse Tower in Phuket Town centre.  Here they had lots of firecrackers wrapped around poles, which were then lit they lit and everybody stepped back.  There was a  spirit medium dancing in the centre of the firecrackers – a sight to behold.

Then there were more firecrackers with raised Chinese effigies – Tim retired to Swensen’s to meet his group and relax.  This did not last long as Tim had a dance with a spirit medium.

An experience that should not be missed but frankly many guests would not go again. Tim was enthralled with it all and visited more events by himself and has promised to find a text book to explain it all to him - and wants to sign up for next year.

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