Here’s something you probably won’t find in mainland China, bloody images of a parade of men beating themselves with serrated swords for Daoist ritual of self-flagellation to honor the gods.
Spirit mediums known as jitong or tangki in Taiwanese, work themselves into a state of trance where they don’t feel pain from the long needles pierced through their faces or the giant serrated sword they are beating over their own heads.
In Thailand, the ethnic Chinese community celebrate the Nine Emperor Gods Festival (also known as the Vegetarian Festival), with a bizarre procession that sees thousands of devotees pierce all sorts of knives, needles, spears and vegetables into their bodies (see pictures here). The Hindus in Tamil Nadu, Singapore and Malaysia also have a similar festival known as Thaipusam in which devotees carry massive kavadis pierced through their bodies in the worship of Murugan, the Tamil god of war.
Don’t try this at home.