Thousands Gather To Receive Sacred Tattoos From Buddhist Monks

sak-yant-sacred-tattoos

Thousands Gather To Receive Sacred Tattoos From Buddhist Monks

 
Sacred Tattoos From The Sak Yant Festival

Every March, a large grouping of Buddhist followers travel to Wat Bang Phra temple in Thailand for the Sak Yant festival. “Sak Yant” [literally translated: tap tattoo-sacred design] is a festival where monks deliver sacred tattoos to followers who believe these designs offer healing powers, good fortune, and the ability to ward off physical harm.

The tattoos are traditional hand poked “mai sak” style. Mai sak traditionally makes use of sharpened bamboo sticks and ink made from numerous ingredients as unique as snake venom, herbs and cigarette ash.

When the tattoo is completely finished, a monk will bless and blow onto the design. This process is said to finish the ceremony by infusing the tattoo with the monk’s mystical powers. Followers are encouraged to live a solemn lifestyle after receiving such an honour; abstaining from drinking, stealing, lying, drugs and alcohol.

Scroll down to see the mystical power of the Sak Yant sacred tattoos

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Sak Yant tattoos show confidence and power. Males often display during ceremonies in Wat Bang Phra Temple. (Image credit: Pacific Press/Getty Images)

 

sak-yant-sacred-tattoos

A Thai follower enters at the Wat Bang Phra tattoo festival in Nakhon Pathom. [Image credit: Piti A Sahakorn/Getty Images]

 

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A monk draws a traditional tattoo during the tattoo festival. [Image credit: Piti A Sahakorn/Getty Images]

 

sak-yant-sacred-tattoos

A sacred Buddhist pattern being carefully placed. [Image credit: Piti A Sahakorn/Getty Images]

 

sak-yant-sacred-tattoos

Another monk tattooing on during the festival in Nakhon Pathom. [Image credit: Piti A Sahakorn/Getty Images]

 

sak-yant-sacred-tattoos

A tattooed follower praying during at Wat Bang Phra. [Image credit: Piti A Sahakorn/Getty Images]

 

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Onlookers watch as one follower receives a Buddhist protective tattoo. [Image credit: Christophe Archambault/Getty Images]

 

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Participants raising their hands trying to catch sacred objects. [Image credit: Christophe Archambault/Getty Images]

 

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Some of the beautiful art from this year’s festival. [Image credit: Christophe Archambault/Getty Images]

 

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Meditating at the annual tattoo festival at Wat Bang Phra temple. [Image credit: Christophe Archambault/Getty Images]

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