Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Bloody Experience in Hatyai, Thailand

I was in Hatyai for a few days some time in October last year. I didn't know that a Vegetarian Festival was being held that very Saturday I was in town. I was with three other friends, roaming Hatyai town via foot. Setting our sights on streets stalls and shopping malls. Mostly to do window shopping since I only had 500 Bahts. Haha.

Then suddenly from afar I heard the sounds of drums beating and puffs of smoke appearing on the streets. I long have wondered why the streets seemed exceptionally car-less that day. It's because it was Vegetarian day.
Smoke started to appear on the streets of Hatyai
I waited in anticipation with all the other Thailanders there who happened to crowd the streets. No cars were in sight. The sounds grew louder, and the crowds grew bigger as it approached me.

It was getting closer. 
A big drum was being pulled from behind. And I saw a group of people in white advancing us. What were among the marching group in white that attracted such a large crowd?

This...

They had "things" pierced in their mouths! Bicycles umbrellas, lanterns poles, bed posts and weapons!
Pierced? What do you mean by pierced? Let's have a closer look, shall we?

See the rod going in from one cheek and going out from his mouth?
That wasn't all. I also witnessed some of these devoted lads whipping themselves to a bloody mess.

Standing bloodily tall and proud.
The religious Chinese devotees seemed to stop at every red shrine along the way to do some form of salutation. Some even tied red ribbons on kids they have meet along the way. I have no idea why as I was traveling without a guide (which is my traveling norm. hahaha)

We watched warily as the bloody devotees passed our way, dispersing the already thinning crowds that gathered earlier that day. It ended with three people lighting up traditional Chinese fireworks and then stomping on them.

They seemed to dance on fire
Yeahh.. that pretty much summed my Saturday afternoon in Hatyai. Haha.

The crowds dispersed as soon as the marchers left. I believe they were heading to other streets as well in Hatyai but I didn't follow them to find out. Having experienced this, I must say that this has certainly been one of the most random trip ever!

Keep traveling folks!

Other festivals in Thailand can be read here.




9 comments:

HenRy LeE said... [Reply]

aiyaa.... just like thaipusam ah

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ henry.. iya... tp yg ini diraikan oleh orang Cina di Thailand. hehehe

Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

WOW just like Thaipusam,,,, ngeriiiiiii so scary but melihat langsung festival tersebut merupakan pengalaman tak terlupakan :)

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ alid.. thaipusam is for Indians.. this one is done by chinese.. hehehe..

and yessssss... an unforgettable memory!

chekgu BaniHassim said... [Reply]

aiyyyoooo....scary nye....
tang bwk kipas sangkut kat mulut tu....apekah? huhuhu

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ chekgu... ehh.. cikgu masih wujud di dunia blog kahh? hahaha..

scary jugakk.. tp best pula mengalaminya dpn mata (baca: tengok dari jarak yg selamat lah) hahaha

Faisal Admar said... [Reply]

gosh. this is very scary! i mean i watched some of the celebration here in penang, exactly like this... but whipping till bleeding like that? oh god!

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ faisal.. in the name of religion. hehehe..

nafisblog said... [Reply]

what a lovely post! jadi mau backpacking ke sana! :(