Present at the ceremony were Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana and a host of other officials.
Mayor Somjai in her welcoming address explained that the Vegetarian Festival has been held in Phuket and its traditions preserved for 194 years, and last year the Department of Culture Promotion conferred it as a festival of special cultural heritage.
Culture Minister Itthiphol arrived in Phuket to attend the event in place of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. (See story here.)
Mr Itthiphol presided over the official “opening ceremony” and a blessing ceremony at Queen Sirikit Park to mark the start of the annual festival.
The event started at 5:30pm also saw a special procession arrive at Saphan Hin at 7pm, after which Mr Itthiphol also led a prayer ceremony and made offerings to the Chinese gods honoured during the festival, and led a ceremony to pay respects to His Majesty The King.