Thursday, October 21, 2004
New technologies in ancient rituals
A devotee of the Shrine of Jui Tui has his tongue pierced with a power drill as he walks in a procession for a vegetarian celebration yesterday in downtown Phuket, Thailand. Ritual vegetarianism in Phuket traces it roots back to the early 1800s. The festival begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts for nine days. Participants in the festival perform acts of body piercing as a means of shifting evil spirits from individuals onto themselves, in addition to not eating meat.