Like a Virgin Goddess

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There are some cultures around the world that still worship Virgins and it seems that Thailand is one of them. Last week, a number of supposed virgins ranging from 16 to 20, competed for the role of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion, in order to celebrate the Chinese New Year.The Chinese New Year isn’t until January 21st, so it’s a fair way away. Who knows? Maybe the five finalists won’t still be virgins by the time it rolls around, if of course, they actually are still virgins now.

The contest took place in the Nha Pha God-Goddess Shrine, which is in the Pak Nam Pho area of Nakhon Sawan, a largely Thai-Chinese province in central Thailand. The criteria for the contest was that the girls all had to be of Chinese lineage. There were 20 contestants in total. Whether or not they were all actually virgins at the time, is unknown.

The contest is based on luck and faith. The winner for this year was a 16 year old student who will be worshiped as a representation of the goddess by her entire city over Chinese New Year, which runs from
Jan. 21 to Feb. 1. The Guan Yin virgin contest is an annual event and the rites have been celebrated for 101 years. Apparently the winner is determined by a stick throwing contest, which is perhaps a little bit symbolic.

If you want to see the young virgin being paraded around, she’ll be appearing in her home city on January 30th and 31st. If you don’t live in the city and you decide to make the trip for only this reason, then chances are you’re probably a bit of a weirdo.