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In this photo made late Saturday, August 9, 2014, in Keelung, Taiwan, a traditional Chinese dance troupe performs during a parade marking the beginning of the Chinese folklore's mid-summer's Ghost Month Festival. (Photo by Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo)

In this photo made late Saturday, August 9, 2014, in Keelung, Taiwan, a traditional Chinese dance troupe performs during a parade marking the beginning of the Chinese folklore's mid-summer's Ghost Month Festival. Fourteen days into the seventh month of the lunar calendar, August 9, in 2014, marks the traditional Chinese Ghost Month where the gates of the underworld are opened and spirits of the deceased are set free to roam the world of the living. The month long festivities are aimed to please the roaming spirits. (Photo by Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo)
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12 Aug 2014 11:57:00
A devotee of the Chinese Samkong Shrine walks with flowers pierced through his cheeks during a procession celebrating the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket, Thailand, October 16, 2015. (Photo by Jorge Silva/Reuters)

A devotee of the Chinese Samkong Shrine walks with flowers pierced through his cheeks during a procession celebrating the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket, Thailand, October 16, 2015. The festival, featuring face-piercing, spirit mediums and strict vegetarianism celebrates the local Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. (Photo by Jorge Silva/Reuters)
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19 Oct 2015 08:06:00
A devotee gest pierced at the Bang Neow shrine in Phuket. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

“The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, which is observed primarily in Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and also the Riau Islands. In Thailand, this festival is called Tesagan Gin Je, the Vegetarian Festival. It is celebrated throughout the entire country, but the festivities are at their height in Phuket, where about 35% of the population is Chinese. It attracts crowds of spectators because of many of the unusual religious rituals that are performed”. – Wikipedia. Photo: A devotee gest pierced at the Bang Neow shrine in Phuket. (Photo by Paula Bronstein)
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11 Oct 2013 07:49:00
A devotee of the Ban Tha Rua Chinese shrine is helped with a spike pierced through her cheeks during a street procession celebrating the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket September 28, 2014. (Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

A devotee of the Ban Tha Rua Chinese shrine is helped with a spike pierced through her cheeks during a street procession celebrating the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket September 28, 2014. The festival, featuring face-piercing, spirit mediums and strict vegetarianism celebrates the local Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. (Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters)
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28 Sep 2014 11:34:00
Marani Devi Chaudhary (C), aged 40, performs a ritual in front of shaman Paltan Yadav (unseen) at her home in Rajaur village in Dhanusha district, Nepal, 02 November 2017. The shaman identified Marani Devi to be possessed by their lineage god who was dissatisfied by their worship is thought by the family to have caused them misfortune and is even feared lead to their death. Therefore Marani Devi spent 1,500 USD to perform a healing ritual at the Ghost Festival held at the banks of Kamala River in Dhanusha district two days later. Every family or community has their own sacred god, called 'Kuldevta' in Nepali which means family deity or lineage god. Only family members or people within communities of the same caste can worship to the deity. They have their own rules and regulations of worship which varies from one family and community to another. Being unable to follow the rules and regulations or carry out worship is believed to cause misfortune. (Photo by Narendra Shrestha/EPA/EFE)

Marani Devi Chaudhary (C), aged 40, performs a ritual in front of shaman Paltan Yadav (unseen) at her home in Rajaur village in Dhanusha district, Nepal, 02 November 2017. The shaman identified Marani Devi to be possessed by their lineage god who was dissatisfied by their worship is thought by the family to have caused them misfortune and is even feared lead to their death. (Photo by Narendra Shrestha/EPA/EFE)
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17 Nov 2017 06:53:00
A devotee of the Chinese Ban Tha Rue shrine walks with guns pierced through his cheeks during a procession celebrating the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket, Thailand, October 17, 2015.

A devotee of the Chinese Ban Tha Rue shrine walks with guns pierced through his cheeks during a procession celebrating the annual vegetarian festival in Phuket, Thailand, October 17, 2015. The festival, featuring face-piercing, spirit mediums and strict vegetarianism celebrates the local Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. (Photo by Jorge Silva/Reuters)
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20 Oct 2015 08:01:00
A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine has his face pierced with metal rods during a street procession during the annual Vegetarian Festival in the southern Thai town of Phuket on October 19, 2015. During the festival, which begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts nine days, religious devotees slash themselves with swords, pierce their cheeks with sharp objects and commit other painful acts to purify themselves, taking on the sins of the community. (Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP Photo)

A devotee of the Chinese Jui Tui Shrine has his face pierced with metal rods during a street procession during the annual Vegetarian Festival in the southern Thai town of Phuket on October 19, 2015. During the festival, which begins on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and lasts nine days, religious devotees slash themselves with swords, pierce their cheeks with sharp objects and commit other painful acts to purify themselves, taking on the sins of the community. (Photo by Nicolas Asfouri/AFP Photo)
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21 Oct 2015 08:05:00
Devotees Practice Self Mutilation At Phuket Vegetarian Festival

A devotee of the Chinese shrine of Kathu Shrine, pierces his cheeks with umbrellas during a procession of Vegetarian Festival on October 4, 2011 in Phuket, Thailand. Ritual Vegetarianism in Phuket Island traces it roots back to the early 1800's. 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 and bring the community good luck. (Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images)
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04 Oct 2011 10:49:00