Luminous Photos of Phuket's Wild Vegetarian Festival

The celebration, which features massive face piercings, is not for the faint of heart.

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Who says vegetarians don't know how to party?

Thousands of people came out for the annual Phuket Vegetarian festival this weekend, lining the streets for midnight processions and fireworks. Sparkly lights blazed a path for the spirits being honored. According to the Phuket News:

Thousands of fire crackers were lit during the festivities, leaving the streets blanketed in smoke and resonating with the sounds of small – and sometimes large – explosions. After the entourage of Chinese gods were sent their heavenly way with a huge bonfire, devotees turned to the hundreds of stalls that stayed open late to serve the annual banquet of non-vegetarian fare, helping those who took part in the festival to leave their nine-day fast behind.

The festival, featuring face-piercing, spirit mediums and strict vegetarianism celebrates the local Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)
A combination photo shows devotees at the annual vegetarian festival in central Phuket. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.