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Swords and skewers at Thailand's gruesome vegetarian festival

Swords, axe handles, kebab skewers and even a model boat were among the bizarre array of objects pushed through devotees' cheeks on Sunday as southern Thailand's gruesome vegetarian festival got under way. Many Chinese communities across Southeast Asia go vegetarian this week for the annual Taoist "Nine Emperor Gods" festival but few do it with quite the gusto and shock factor of Phuket's inhabitants.
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Vegetarian festival devotees get pierced early morning at the Bang Neow shrine in Phuket, Thailand on October 10, 2013. Ritual Vegetarianism in Phuket Island traces it roots back to the early 1800s. The festival begins on the first ...


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