This is a video footage of what happened at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016, Day Eight …
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016, Day Eight Summary
The 8th day events hold some rather intriguing yet gruesome rituals that are both exciting and terrifying to watch. As I explain the rituals, I will also name the shrines they can be found at and the times they occur, so you can come and observe them for yourself.
The ceremonies that take place on this day are Blade Ladder Climbing, Nail Bridge Crossing, Oil Bathing and Tying Children’s Wrists. The nail bridge crossing and the hot oil bathing hold similar meaning to the fire walking of which I talked earlier. It is believed that the devotees doing these harmful rituals are shifting the bad luck and evil energies away from individuals and their communities onto themselves. It is also believed that if the devotee who is doing the ritual has been cleansed and is pure, he will be spared from pain or injury that one would expect from doing such acts. These rituals can be observed at Sapam Shrine at 20.00 and Ban Tha Rua Shrine at 20.45.
Before you go any further, have a look at what happened on Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016, Day Eight:
The Blade Ladder ritual holds a significant meaning for the Nine Emperor Gods Festival as it is tied directly to the number 9. The ladder itself has 36 rungs, and devotees climb up and then back down the ladder, making it 72 painful steps in all. The steps are meant to be interpreted as 3 + 6 and 7 + 2 which both equal 9. The number 9 represents the number of days in the festival, and is also said to be the most auspicious number in Chinese culture. Devotees climb the ladder and once at the top shower the crowd below with sweets and charm cloths that are meant to represent the good fortune from the gods. They then climb back down the other side of the ladder which represent the fortunate year ahead. This ritual can be observed at Cherngtalay Shrine at 19.59, Samkong Shrine at 20.00 and Bang Neow Shrine at 20.00.
Another interesting but far less shocking ritual is the act of tying children’s wrists. This ritual is performed within the compound of the shrine and consists of small strings or bracelets, that have been blessed, being tied around the child’s wrists. It is believed that the blessed strings will purify and protect the child from misfortune and evil spirits for the upcoming year. As such, the child will help to protect the home and community from the same evil spirits. This ritual can be observed at Ban Tha Rua Shrine at 20.45. As you can see from the list of rituals and ceremonies, there is quite a lot to observe on day eight.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016 Videos:
For more information about this popular Phuket festival you may read our blog article Phuket Vegetarian Festival