Lustral hot water bathing ritual - Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Lustral hot water bathing ritual was something which I had tried to visit last year at Choor Su Gong Naka Shrine but unfortunately it was began to rain!

On arrival there were two bowls of different liquids in front of the Shrine bubbling whilst people sat around the outside - some performing a ceremony in the Shrine and some simply waiting.

At an appointed time the drum began to be hit at an ever increasing rate. 

What looked like the Head Mah Song was taken into a trance and possessed, flags put on his back and then more drums were hit and cymbals crashed.

Meanwhile a white powder was poured into both bowls and then crumpled up blessed paper added - this is the same papers which are put under the legs of the 'furniture' in the shrines.

The Ma Song are all brought under possession and are brought into the front of the shrine.

It is at this point where there are a number of collection of branches are placed on the table between the tables - I do not know whether this is important?

At a prescribed time some of the Ma Song pick up the branches, put them in the boiling water and then splash the drips over their own backs and over people watching.

At this point I was aware that Female Mah Song were present, they did not take part but simply watched the activities.

This continued for about 15 minutes and then one of the Mah Song dipped his hand into the water - it was clearly hot - and removed orange threads which he gave to the people surrounding the shrine.

Focus was then turned to the second boiling liquid - which was not the same. It was boiling and had branches in it as well and was clearly much a much heavier liquid.

At this point I watched some of the liquid being removed - it was oil? - and poured onto a saucer. It was clear that there were some people sitting in chairs surrounding the ceremony and were there for something.

A Mah Song then proceeded to communicate in actions with the person. He then poured the oil on his hands and the body and began to massage it over the body. The people in the chairs were waiting to be touched by the Mah Song - wow this certainly was different - almost a religious thing? I could find nothing about this ceremony.

After about 10 people were taken care of I chose to leave - whilst many people were waiting for their turn - certainly something believed in.