Incredible Ink: Thailand's Magic Tattoo Festival
Each year in spring, thousands of faithful believers arrive to get inked by their spiritual teachers at the Magic Tattoo Festival in Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok. This is unlike getting an ordinary tattoo. These tattoos, applied by monks and religious leaders, are believed to make dreams come true and fulfill the destinies of the devout who undergo the ordeal of getting themselves inked. People wait in long queues outside booths to get inked by the temple's master tattooist after which they are sprayed with holy water and go into a trance in which they mimic the creatures engraved on their bodies. They believe the magic tattoos have mystical powers which ward off bad luck and protect them from harm.
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