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Photographer's Note

This is another Picture from the Ghost festival that takes place every year in Loie in the mountains of North eastern Thailand. The festival is one of the fertility rites that take place before the monsoon rains, and call for the rains to come. Most of the festival is about spirit worship but one of many off shoots is the teams of old men who dress up as grotesque parodies of women. If asked they will tell stories of certain evil spirits that try to take possession of women at these times and that, seeing these ugly parodies they will be scared off the ladies of the town. In fact cross dressing is an element of fertility rites in many parts of the world from Mardi Gras to the English pantomime. As well as following an ancient custom, however, these 'lovely ladies' are about having fun and making their neighbors laugh. This men are local farmers and are not related to the katois, or cross gender people, who are also a part of the festival. This man will return to being an ordinary husband and father tomorrow, having had a lot of fun on the day.

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Additional Photos by kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1011 W: 170 N: 1770] (7385)
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