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Go Teng poles raised at Chinese temples as Phuket Vegetarian Festival gets underway

Go Teng poles raised at Chinese temples as Phuket Vegetarian Festival gets underway

PHUKET: The Phuket Vegetarian Festival got underway today (Sept 25) as every Chinese shrine taking part in the event held the traditional ceremony to raise the Go Teng poles, welcoming the Jade Emperor and the Nine Emperor Gods to descend from the heavens.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 25 September 2022, 06:56PM

The poles, tall slender trees gilded with gold-coloured paper, were raised at the auspicious time of 5:09pm, indicating that the nine-day festival was underway.

The prayers, rituals and blessing ceremonies all began today while the surroundings of the participating Chinese shrines turned into open-air markets with various vegetarian foods on sale.

The ceremony at Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket Town was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul and Phuket Vice-Governor Pichet Panapong.

The street processions will begin on Tuesday (Sept 27) with devotees from the Koor Su Gong Naka Shrine in Wichit being the first to take to the streets. Processions organised by other shrines will be held across the island every day through to Oct 4 (for more details see this story).

All streets and main roads along the procession routes will be closed to traffic while the procession is taking place.

On the final night of the festival on Oct 4 all participating shrines will make their way through the streets of Phuket Town to Saphan Hin, where the final rites ceremonies will be held.

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The festival will conclude with the traditional ceremony of lowering the Go Teng poles at the shrines at sunset the following day, Oct 5.

Despite all the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival this year is held under the same DMHTTA protection measures as last year, including social distancing, wearing of masks at all times and body temperature checks.

All people taking part in ceremonies at the shrines must be vaccinated with at least two injections of COVID-19 vaccine and must be tested by antigen test kit (ATK).

Also last year Ma Song spirit mediums taking part in the street processions were traveling by vehicle, instead of walking in the crowd. The rule is also expected to be enforced this year.


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