Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival kicks off
PHUKET: Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival kicked off with a bang yesterday, with more than a thousand devotees, including the possessed mah song warriors (spirit mediums), gathering at Jui Tui shrine in Phuket Town.
Tuesday 27 September 2011, 03:52PM
To mark the beginning of the festival, large ornamental masts were raised at all of Phuket’s Chinese shrines, which will stay standing until the conclusion of the festival.
From 8pm, devotees from each shrine in Phuket Town made their way to the waters of Saphan Hin to perform the God invitation rite, performing incantations to invite the Jade Emperor and Nine Emperor Gods to descend from the heavens. Water is believed to be the medium between heaven and earth in Chinese culture, and devotees will again return to the sea in ten days’ time to bid the Gods farewell.
During the ten days of the Vegetarian Festival, each shrine will stage various rites including oil bathing, bladed ladder climbing, and fire walking.
Most local people will abstain from eating meat and drinking alcohol for the full ten days.
Click here for the event schedule.
People wishing to attend or take part should be aware of the following rules for the Vegetarian Festival:
- Eat only vegetarian food.
- Wear only white clothes during the festival.
- Maintain good personal hygiene during the festival.
- Use clean kitchen utensils and keep them separate from people who are not joining the festival.
- Maintain good physical and mental behaviour.
- Abstain from sex.
- Abstain from alcohol.
- People in mourning should not attend the festival.
- Pregnant women should not attend the festival.
- Women menstruating should not attend the festival.
– Photo by Teerapat Pattanasoponpong