Thailand – Sak Yant Festival for Holy Thai Tattoos

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Chiang Mai – San Pa Tong – Bangkok – Thailand 19/04/2019

For hundreds of years, Thai people drew images of animals, Khom scripts, and mystic diagrams (Yantra) on their skin, believing that these would protect them against misfortunes. Sacred tattoos, known as Sak Yant (sak meaning “to tap”; Yant meaning “sacred geometry”), were originally worn by warriors before a battle, but now they are enjoyed by the general public like a lucky charm. Sak Yant is traditionally rendered using a bamboo needle by tattoo masters (Ajarns) among Buddhist monks, but the magical power of such tattoos is not permanent, as it is believed they should be recharged on a regular basis. The popularity of Sak Yant led to an annual tattoo festival, where every master or teacher has its own Wai Kru Day of celebration. During the celebrations of Wai Kru, when the master blesses the tattoos, many people are “taken over” by the tattoos themselves, they scream and scream and become uncontrollable.

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