Self Mutilation and Fireworks

Peanut butter and jelly. Apple pie and ice cream. Wine and cheese. Self mutilation and fireworks?

Last night, a religious group in Taiwan hosted a celebration in my neighborhood. It couldn’t be ignored, as thousands of fireworks were exploding for a span of 4 hours.

As it turned out ,the Ba Jia Jiang were celebrating one of the god’s birthdays with acts of self mutilation. One expat watched a guy swing a sword on a chain across his back, which sliced him with a gash 5 inches deep and 12 inches long. Apparently, he was on the brink of death; luckily, they had medical staff waiting to treat him.

Call me old fashioned, but I’d rather stick with peanut butter and jelly.

Photos courtesy of Emily Clark



  1. wow…

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