The Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival in Thailand is one of the most bizarre festivals I have seen in a long time. Each year, tens of thousands of tattoo (known as Sak Yant) devotees flee to the Wat Bang Phra temple to pay their respects to the art of Sak Yant. What makes this even so spectacular is the animal spirit possessions. At the sound of a growl, then monkeys, people then become possessed by the animals tattooed on their backs and ultimately become those animals. The Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival can get so chaotic that it is not uncommon for people to simply start running into each other.
In the Thai culture, tattoos are deeply rooted in spirituality and superstition and are believed to have special magical powers that protect them against evil spirits and are good luck charms. For Thai police, they are seen as protection that can stop bullets and blades from penetrating their skin.