Men in Thailand are fiercely competitive when it comes to their facial piercings. Forcing spikes, knives, guns and huge rifles through their cheeks is how these men celebrate the annual Thai vegetarian festival. The photos of from this festival, which took place last week.
It’s not just machismo that drives these men to impale their faces. Those who take part in the nine-day festival in Phuket, southern Thailand, believe the act of piercing helps to shift evil spirits away from their bodies.
In addition to these terrifying acts of placing objects in their piercings, there is also a procession that worships abstinence from meat. Mediums also attend the festival in an attempt to call on spirits.
These men believe that abstinence from meat and lodging objects in their faces and bodies will help them maintain good health and peace of mind.
These rituals in Phuket are believed to have started in the early 1800s.