The Thai Vegetarian Festival is a 9-day event that includes strict vegetarian diets, temple offerings, and some of the most incredible acts of self-mortification.
The mediums that take part in this ritual are in a trance while they have their cheeks pierced and bodies spiked with various sharp objects. These acts are undertaken in order to purify their minds and bodies.
This year the Phuket Vegetarian Festival will run from October 18th - 26th 2009.
Could traditions like these be the inspiration behind modern body-modifications in the west?