By Nelson Groom
Thousands of Buddhist devotees have worked themselves into trances imitating the beasts inked onto their bodies at Thailand’s tattoo festival.
The festival at Wat Bang Phra, about 80km from Bangkok, on Saturday saw crowds of monks descend on the temple to renew the magic power of their Sak Yant tattoos.
The monks’ inkings are done using sharpened bamboo sticks in a tradition believed to bless the bearer with magic luck and strength.
But once a year, this power must be restored by mimicking the sacred crocodiles, tigers and monkeys etched onto the monk’s skin in a trance like state.