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Next Level Body Modifications
Phuket Vegetarian Festival

All photos Guillaume Megevand

Western kids fill their faces with steel bits and bobs as a way to show their individuality, and maybe to piss off the conservative generations. I’ve seen some crazy body modifications in western countries, but the adherents of the Thai Chinese Phuket Vegetarian Festival make western body modification look pathetic. Celebrants at this annual festival honor the Nine Emperor Gods not only with their strict vegetarian diets, but also by piercing their cheeks with kitchen knives and stuffing the wounds with guitars, rulers, spears, guns and basically anything that you would never want to see jabbed through someone’s face. The gods, as thanks for their sacrifice, apparently reward them with little blood and scarring. And while people are being mutilated all round you, firecrackers are exploding indiscriminately and injuring passers by. At the 2011 festival, 74 people were injured and 1 person died, either as a result of firecrackers or being stabbed through the face. Photographer Guillaume Megevand attended the Phuket Vegetarian Festival and took some brilliant images of the piercings. Check out a disturbing gallery after the jump!

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