Virgin-worship culture is alive and well in Thailand. Yesterday, several young virgins competed to represent Guan Yin, or the Goddess of Compassion, as part of the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.
This virgin contest happened before a large crowd at the Nha Pha God-Goddess Shrine, in the Pak Nam Pho area of Nakhon Sawan, a largely Thai-Chinese province in central Thailand.
The five virgin-finalists competing, who were chosen from a larger group of 20 virgins, had to be of Chinese lineage and between 16 and 20 years old.
Supposedly, the contest is based only on luck and faith, two ideals highly regarded in Chinese culture. However, all the young women were also very traditionally attractive.
No word on whether there was a test to see if the girls are actually virgins.
The winner, student Tassayaporn Wongsaksirikul, 16, will be worshipped as a representation of the goddess by her entire city over Chinese New Year, from Jan. 21 to Feb. 1.
The Guan Yin virgin contest is one of the Chinese New Year’s annual rites, which have been celebrated for 101 years in this community.
To win the contest, the girls needed to throw two wooden bars at a certain shine three times. For the first two rounds, one bar needs to face up while the other faces down. For the final round, both bars need to face down.
Apparently, this only happens for one girl each time. Believers think that the winner is chosen by Guan Yin herself, reported Bangkok Post.
Virgin-goddess Tassayaporn will wear a Guan Yin costume and appear in a parade in her city on Jan. 30 and 31.
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