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The agony & the extacy

By MediumSizeUnavailable
Series 1 - A jolly day out in Siam

Photos taken at Wat Bang Phra ("Wat" is Thai for temple) in Nakhon Chai Si, near Bangkok during the Sak Yant festival (also known as the tattoo festival). A day filled with trance, tattoos, and superstition.

People among the crowd are getting in a state of trance as the animal spirits encased in the tattoos on their bodies start to possess their mind. In a few seconds they will charge forward, towards the statue of their Teacher.

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Tags: Photo journalism Religion Thailand Documentary Temple Trance tattoo festival

Voters: Dave_Henderson, mike9005, bliba and 24 more


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Comments


clevercloggs Plus
16 251 15 Netherlands
27 Jan 2021 1:50PM
Hi Koen, this is promising to be a good series of photos.
in particular this one you can see how alert people are if some one goes in trance..
if this guy had a tiger tattoo on his back and he believes he is that tiger I'd be on alert too as you just don't know whether he is going to attac you.
you can see this in the people's faces around the person(s) in trance.. look at that lady photographer behind the guy and the guy in the green polo behind the person they are restraining.

why are the others there if they do not go in trance? they all sit so orderly... all there to wait for others to go in trance or is there other entertainment like music?
Robert
Alfie_P Plus
13 927 2 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2021 1:57PM
Excellent and dramatic image ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Alfie😊
Daisymaye Plus
12 23 18 Canada
27 Jan 2021 2:42PM
My goodness this could be a dangerous place to be with tigers and who knows what else attacking. I'm looking forward to more images from this event. This one is very good.
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 398
27 Jan 2021 2:48PM
Congratulations for surviving the tiger attack amigo. Thanks for sharing with us
27 Jan 2021 9:18PM

Quote:Hi Koen, this is promising to be a good series of photos.
in particular this one you can see how alert people are if some one goes in trance..
if this guy had a tiger tattoo on his back and he believes he is that tiger I'd be on alert too as you just don't know whether he is going to attac you.
you can see this in the people's faces around the person(s) in trance.. look at that lady photographer behind the guy and the guy in the green polo behind the person they are restraining.

why are the others there if they do not go in trance? they all sit so orderly... all there to wait for others to go in trance or is there other entertainment like music?
Robert



They won't attack me Robert. As they are in trance, I am basically invisible to them. You should just get out of the way when they rush forward, for the same reason, that you or other obstacles are not there for them, and they will just run into you at full speed.

many of the others are other "believers", sometimes with girlfriend or mates. Or just curious visitors. And more and more photographers every year :-( . So not all of them will go into a state of trance. Many will though. In the morning it's rather quiet, but the tension mounts as the hours progress, with in later stages sometimes dozens getting into trance at the same time and all rushing forward at the same time. "Rushing" can be just that... if a tiger or a buffalo takes over. Sometimes they walk very slowly, mimicking an old man, or a chicken.
It's no surprise that they sit there very orderly and docile. Thai nature. Often after having rushed forward and being tackled by military - sometimes the hard way -, it is not uncommon that they politely wai (Thai greeting form) to the person's who got them out of their trance, and quietly walk back to their place. No trace of aggression or anger.

Actually I don't remember if there was music Blush Could be... Thai love music, preferably glaringly loud. But again, not sure. Maybe prayers, or mantras.

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