Getting up early was not a problem - as I arrived Kathu Shrine was a buzz with activity.
The Mah Songs were clearly there in numbers and Kathu Shrine was like no other time of the year. The courtyard was ablaze with people all milling around. There were also a number of piercings taking place amongst this - amazing how there are no accidents!
I then saw the female Mah Songs - some pierced but many in a simple trance.
I immediately took myself into the shrine to watch the piercings take place. I recognized a number of 'piercees'? from previous years but I still marvelled at their control whilst the piercings took place. The intricacies of their piercings could almost be seen as art?
I was then approached by a tourist who then asked me what on earth was going on - I quickly replied that - haven't you read about it? Sheepishly she the informed me that she was recording a Japanese Tavel Show... I then told her the tale of the beginning of the Vegetarian Festival. I was then asked whether I believed and I indicated that it was up to the individual whether they believed, I was irrelevant, I then disappeared.
I met Jamie (which is always a pleasure) and we shared our views that the event was becoming more a media event - but not yet! We stood at the gates to Kathu Shrine and waited for the Head Mah Song to begin this Parade.
Unimaginable chaos is the only description - fireworks and crackers and smoke and smoke - wonderful. The parade from Kathu Shrine took us into Phuket Town past Central Festival, Bang Neow Shrine and finished in Sapan Hin - checking in on four square all the way!
In Sapan Hin the Mah Song and the entourage of shrines collected around the lake with the musical fountain - words were spoked and instruments banged - the parade started again and my feet hurt...
I stopped the parade in Phuket Town at Krieng Tin for Bubble Tea and then Coffee Circle for a cappuccino.
I encountered a Por Tor Turtle which was spraying water onto anyone who wished and my favourite which was the crazy 3 musketeers.