For the first time ever, get 1 year of Awesome and Adobe Creative Cloud Photography account for just $10.35 USD/month! Learn more. Upgrade now
A A A
       
0

Magic Tattoo festival. Thailand, 2011.

Published March 25th, 2011

Magic Tattoo festival (or Wai Khru - "Honor the teachers day") held every year in March at Wat Bang Phra.
This place is very famous for it's masters. Temple located about 50 km away to the west from Bangkok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Bang_Phra).
A thousands of people come here to make a new tattoo with magic power and monk's blessing (or renew a power of an old one's). It's believed that recipient gets the defensive features or forces of sak-yant tattoo images.
Thai believes that these tattoos will protect them even from real weapons. That's why the majority of the devotees are soldiers, policemen and criminals.
Festival start at night when people come to get a tattoos from masters. These tattoos are created by hand with a long sharp steel needles and special ink made by masters.
Then at morning the main ceremony starts. Crowd listening to monk's chanting and some of the people entering trance-like states, start shaking, yelling and growling as their magic animal spirit. And then start rushing to the main stage where the abbot and monks chant mantras.
Near the stage volunteers wait to restrain and subdue the devotees. They catch rushing devotees and help them to come to their senses by pinching their ears.
At the end of the ceremony monks pour crowd with holy water and throw them a blessed fruits and flowers.

Untitled

It's believed that this kind of tattoos have a magic power. And it's very popular among thai people.

  • March 18th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 85mm / f/2 / 1/125 sec

Untitled

Master of magic tattoos preparing his instruments - needles and ink.

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 70mm / f/2.8 / 1/100 sec

Untitled

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 50mm / f/1.8 / 1/200 sec

Untitled

Untitled

The process is quiet painful because tattoo making by strikes of long sharp steel needle.

Untitled

Few people who also came to get their magic tattoos help master by stretching the skin of that one who gets tattoo.

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 35mm / f/2.2 / 1/400 sec

Untitled

Monks in Wat Bang Phra temple are also have magic tattoos.

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 110mm / f/2.8 / 1/200 sec

Untitled

Monk making a special tattoo "sak yant" for one of the participants of annual Magic Tattoo festival at Wat Bang Phra temple in Thailand.

Untitled

Devotees sitting and meditating in front of main stage where monks spelling mantras.

Untitled

In a trance, from time to time some of devotees start rushing through the crowd.

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 200mm / f/3.2 / 1/1000 sec

Untitled

Devotees take on the traits of magic animals - monkeys, lions, tigers, bears, snakes or eagles.

Untitled

Near the stage volunteers wait to restrain and subdue the devotees.

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 195mm / f/3.2 / 1/1250 sec

Untitled

Volunteers pinch the ears of the devotee trying to calm him down.

Untitled

It's believed that sak-yant tattoos are bring magical protection even from bullets and knives. For this reason, many of the people attending the festival are policemen, soldiers and criminals.

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 85mm / f/3.2 / 1/1000 sec

Untitled

Untitled

Magic amulets is another thing that very popular among Thais. It has same meaning as tattoos - protection and good luck.

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • 85mm / f/3.2 / 1/800 sec

Untitled

Login or sign up to comment.