Swords, axe handles, kebab skewers and even a model boat were among the bizarre array of objects pushed through devotees’ cheeks as Chinese communities across Southeast Asia celebrated Thailand’s gruesome vegetarian festival – the annual Taoist Nine Emperor Gods festival.


Throughout the week, these people will go vegetarian and show their religious devotion through ritualistic self-mutilation and pain trials, including running over hot coals and piercing their bodies. See more photos below.












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