Aside from this, there are other ceremonies throughout
the fest, notably: invocation of the gods Lam Tao,
who keeps track of the living, and Pak Tao, who keeps
track of the dead; processions of the gods' images;
and feats of the Ma Song-like bathing in hot oil,
bladed ladder climbing and fire-walking. The festival
ends with merit making ceremonies at each temple (sadoh
kroh) and the send-off of the gods on the last night
(when fireworks are at their most impressive).
Ma Song, or entranced horses, are devotees whom the
gods enter during the fest. They manifest supernatural
powers and perform self-tortures in order to shift
evil from individuals onto themselves, and to bring
the community good luck. Ma Song fall into two categories:
those who, having had an intimation of impending doom,
want to extend their lives; and people specially chosen
by the gods for their moral qualities.
Throughout the festival fireworks and drums are sounded,
especially during ceremonies. It is held that the
louder they are the better, because the noise drives
away evil spirits.
Participants in the fest keep to a strict vegetarian
diet for a varying number of days, usually no less
than three. This they do to make themselves strong
in mind and body; they refrain from all vice, eating
animal flesh, and killing animals. The festival thus
promotes good hygiene, brightness and inner peace.