Disgusting scenes when a two-year-old is tied to a pole at a Thai festival
October the 23rd saw shocking scenes when a two-year-old was dangled upside down by her ankles and swung 30ft in the air during celebrations at a Thai festival.
The infant was crying as she was swung 30ft in the air as part of a ritual at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival that is also known as the Nine Emperor Gods festival in Southern Thailand.
Footage was released of the infant being tied to a huge wooden beam that was then propelled upwards leaving the infant stranded more than 30ft in the air.
Later as the infant was crying, a man shimmied up the pole as if to rescue the little one but instead started to perform tricks and even dangled the little one by her ankle.
He then put the little one on his shoulders and went back and forth as the pair then waved to the crowds below as the man balanced on metal pole that were sticking out from the wooden beam.
In what can only be described as a heart-stopping moment, the man look as if he lost his balance and started to fall, however he then regained his balance and then dangled the child once more by her ankles.
The man then tied a rope around the small girls’ ankles and dropped her stopping only moments before she hit the ground.
She was then hauled up and dropped two more times before the man slid down the pole with the little girl clutching his chest.
There were then displays with Chinese dragons and firecrackers from China.
A tourist who recorded the video said they were shocked when they saw the girl being attached to the pole.
They said: ‘I couldn’t believe what was happening when I saw her being tied to the wooden beam. She was only two-years-old.
‘I’m not sure if there was any special religious meaning to it or if it was just part of the show. But the girl definitely looked scared and I can’t say for sure that it was safe.’
The festival is best known for Thai-Chinese followers of the Taoist religion piercing their cheeks with skewers and hitting themselves with whips.
Followers of the religious event, which started on October 17 and lasted for nine days, raised no complaints about the display and cheered it on.
They believe that by entering a trance they are possessed by the Gods and the pain from the self-flagellation helps to cleanse their souls.
According to locals, the ritual started in the 19th century when a Chinese opera group visiting the island fell ill with a malaria epidemic.
They were doomed until they began worshiping the Nine Emperor Gods and cleansing their bodies, practices that have continued among believers.
Participants said this year’s festival had taken on extra significance because of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Although travel restrictions meant that no international tourists were presents, locals carried on with the unusual events.
Many believe that the pain from the piercings is a way to absorb the ills of their community onto themselves and help to bring good luck back.
Devotee Warin Supattra, who took part in the ritual, said: ‘The world is suffering from the pandemic. Many followers have been affected, too.
‘Here there are no tourists anymore and people’s lives are hurting. They are having a very hard time. Everyone is in pain and I believe our actions will help.’
The festival takes place every year in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, and followers wearing white join the parades to cleanse their souls.
During the nine-day period, they will abstain from meat, alcohol, intercourse and bad behaviour. Pregnant and menstruating women must stay at home.
The festival is normally packed with tourists from around the world but Thailand closed its borders on March 22 and has not reopened to holidaymakers since.