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Everything You Need to Know About Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival

Phuket Vegetarian Festival is the annual nine-day event, celebrated by the Chinese Hokkien descendants across the island for the purposes of physical well-being, spiritual cleansing, merit-making, conferring good luck in the future, and ensuring prosperity and long life.

The most significant festival in Phuketian culture, Phuket Vegetarian Festival, is celebrated in the ninth Chinese lunar month, which this year falls on 29 September – 7 October 2019.

The history and origin of the festival

In 1825, when Phuket inhabited mostly by Chinese miners, the unnamed epidemic was spreading in Kathu Town and caused several deaths. Among many patients, some of them were the members of an opera troupe from China. They also suddenly stricken by an epidemic when they were hired to perform in Phuket.

In hope of finding a cure, the Chinese opera troupe started and led the locals to abstain from eating meat and prayed to the Jade Emperor God and the Nine Emperor Gods for a period of 9 days and 9 nights, as they used to practice during the ninth Chinese lunar month when they were in China.

Consequently, members of an opera troupe recovered their health afterwards and caused great curiosity to the locals. The practicing then widely accepted in Chinese community on the island and passed down from generation to generation until present day.

How to celebrate the festival

  1. Consuming foods that consist of vegetables, except for pungent kinds such as garlic, onions, coriander and flowering garlic chives.
  2. Praying and taking refuge.
  3. remaining in a state of peace and calm.

Things to avoid during the 9 days of festival

  1. Abstain from eating meat and killing living things.
  2. Abstain from stealing.
  3. 3Abstain from sexual behavior.
  4. Abstain from telling lie.
  5. Abstain from alcoholic drinks.
  6. Abstain from gambling.
  7. Abstain from bedecking jewelry and leather goods.
  8. 8. Avoid wearing other colors of attire to enter the principle hall of the shrine, except white attire.
  9. Mourner, woman in menstruation and pregnancy should avoid participating in any kind of rituals.
  10. Kitchen utensils and containers should be kept solely for vegetarian during the festival.

The vegetarian food can be found where yellow flags fly. Highlights also include Ranong Road in Phuket Town, where a stretch of yellow flag road filled with hundred of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and food stalls.

Celebrations will be taking place at all 25 shrines across the island. Some of the biggest celebrations are held at Bang Neow Shrine, Jui Tui Shrine, Kathu Shrine and Sui Boon Tong Shrine. Thousands of participants are expected to turn up to the street procession rituals in Phuket Town during the last three days of the festival, which features the firecrackers and self mutilation by spirit mediums.

If you plan to visit Phuket during the vegetarian festival and want to enjoy the street processions, fire-walking and bladed-ladder climbing rituals around the island, check here for the complete schedule including venues, dates and times.

The Street Processions

Monday, 30 September 2019

  • Choor Su Gong Naka Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.00 am

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

  • Bang Koo Shrine in Koh Kaew, from 6.30 am
  • Sheng Leng Tong Shrine (Baan Muang Mai) in Thalang, from 6.45 am
  • Sapam Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.00 am

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

  • Tea Gun Shrine (Baan Nabon) in Chalong, from 7.00 am
  • Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine (Samkong) in Phuket Town, from 7.09 am
  • Tai Houd Tong Shrine (Surin Beach) in Cherngtalay, from 7.45 am
  • Bu Seng Tong Shrine (Baan Kien) in Thalang, from 8.30 am

Thursday, 3 October 2019

  • Tai Seng Pud Jor (Chalong) in Chalong, from 6.00 am
  • Jeng Ong Shrine, opposite Vachira Hospital in Phuket Town, from 6.30 am
  • Sheng Leng Tong Shrine (Baan Muang Mai) in Thalang, from 6.45 am
  • Baan Tha Rue Shrine in Thalang, from 7.00 am
  • Tea Gun Tai Tae Shrine (Baan Pasak) in Cherngtalay, from 7.15 am
  • Choor Su Gong Naka Shrine in Phuket Town, from 4.45 pm
  • Sapam Shrine in Phuket Town, from 6.45 pm

Friday, 4 October 2019

  • Bang Neow Shrine in Phuket Town, from 6.00 am
  • Gim Su Ong Shrine (Baan Don) in Thalang, from 6.30 am
  • Cherngtalay Shrine in Cherngtalay, from 7.00 am
  • Jong Nghi Tong Shrine (Tonsai Waterfall) in Thalang, from 7.09 am
  • Tai Houd Tong Shrine (Surin Beach) in Cherngtalay, from 3.00 pm

Saturday, 5 October 2019

  • Gim Su Ong Shrine (Baan Don) in Thalang, from 6.30 am
  • Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.09 am

Sunday, 6 October 2019

  • Kathu Shrine in Kathu, from 6.45 am
  • Tea Gun Shrine (Baan Nabon) in Chalong, from 7.00 am
  • Hai Yian Geng Shrine (Mai Khao) in Thalang, from 7.00 am
  • Yok Ke Keng Shrine (Soi Paniang) in Phuket Town, from 9.00 am

Monday, 7 October 2019

  • Ngor Hian Tai Tae Shrine (Baan Kien) in Thalang, from 6.45 am
  • Sui Boon Tong Shrine (Lor Rong) in Phuket Town, from 7.00 am
  • Bang Koo Shrine in Koh Kaew, from 8.00 am

The Fire-walking Rituals

Friday, 4 October 2019

  • Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.09 pm
  • Jeng Ong Shrine, opposite Vachira Hospital in Phuket Town, from 8.09 pm
  • Baan Tha Rue Shrine in Thalang, from 8.30 pm
  • Sapam Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.45 pm
  • Yok Ke Keng Shrine (Soi Paniang) in Phuket Town, from 8.45 pm
  • Sui Boon Tong Shrine (Lor Rong) in Phuket Town, from 9.00 pm
  • Tea Gun Shrine (Baan Nabon) in Chalong, from 9.00 pm
  • Hai Yian Geng Shrine (Mai Khao) in Thalang, from 9.00 pm

Saturday, 5 October 2019

  • Tai Houd Tong Shrine (Surin Beach) in Cherngtalay, from 9.00 pm
  • Bu Seng Tong Shrine (Baan Kien) in Thalang, from 9.00 pm

Sunday, 6 October 2019

  • Gim Su Ong Shrine (Baan Don) in Thalang, from 2.00 pm
  • Bang Neow Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.00 pm
  • Tea Gun Tai Tae Shrine (Baan Pasak) in Cherngtalay, from 8.00 pm
  • Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine (Samkong) in Phuket Town, from 8.09 pm
  • Jong Nghi Tong Shrine (Tonsai Waterfall) in Thalang, from 8.09 pm
  • Sheng Leng Tong Shrine (Baan Muang Mai) in Thalang, from 8.15 pm
  • Tai Seng Pud Jor (Chalong) in Chalong, from 8.30 pm
  • Cherngtalay Shrine in Cherngtalay, from 8.30 pm
  • Choor Su Gong Naka Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.30 pm

Monday, 7 October 2019

  • Kathu Shrine in Kathu, from 3.00 pm
  • Bang Koo Shrine in Koh Kaew, from 7.30 pm

The Bladed-ladder Climbing Rituals

Sunday, 6 October 2019

  • Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket Town, from 8.00 pm
  • Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine (Samkong) in Phuket Town, from 8.00 pm

Monday, 7 October 2019

  • Sheng Leng Tong Shrine (Baan Muang Mai) in Thalang, from 8.00 pm

Source: phuket.net

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