Sak Yant Tattoos; Magic and Possession

Sak Yant Tattoos; Magic and Possession
April 30
18:19 2018

Sak Yant; Magical Tattoos In the Thailand Sun:

Sak Yant is a tattoo tradition from Thailand, which is 100’s of years old. Basically the Sak Yant, are magically charged tattoos, that especially warriors used to get, to help them in combat. These days however, all sorts of people get the tattoos done. Even some foreigners among them, at an ancient festival outside of Bangkok. The festival is called Wai Kru and takes place every year in March (read more).

A special component of the Sak Yant tattoos, is that the magic is not permanent. The tattoos have to be recharged (preferably every year), which can only be done at the Wai Kru festival, through the ceremony that takes place on the morning of the festival and through the day. The Monks in attendance of the festival, along with some tattoo masters. Will tattoo the pilgrims that come to the festival, as well as (re-)charge their tattoos with magic, for the year to come.

It is quite a fascinating festival/ritual. Throughout the ritual, which can take all day, many are said to go into a trance. They will be possessed by the characters of their Sak Yant tattoos, while they are being charged with magic. This causes them to act in such strange ways, that some even have to be restrained, in order for them to not hurt others or themselves.

Final Comment:

It is amazing to see how some old traditions, such as Sak Yant and Wai Kru, still exist today. Hopefully they will get to exist for many more years to come. The world is ever changing, but it does not hurt, to keep some of the old and interesting rituals and traditions alive, for people to learn from and experience.

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About Author



Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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