The procession began at the shrine, located on Pattana Rd Soi 4, at 7am, making its way along Pattana Rd, Chaofa Rd and Patipat Rd before heading into the Old Town area, where it proceeded along Krabi Rd and Dibuk Rd.
The moving spectacle continued along Montri Rd, Dilok U-Thit Rd, Kra Rd and then onto Phuket Rd to reach Saphan Hin, where the participants observed the traditional ceremonies to honour the festival gods before returning to the shrine.
The procession today stood apart from other street processions throughout the festival by the large number of women taking part, even as Mah Song Spirit mediums.
Large numbers of people lined streets to watch the procession, hoping to receive blessings from the passing Mah Song, many of them adorned with traditional facial piercings.
Other shrines to hold their street processions today include the Ngor Hian Tai Tae Shrine in Baan Kian (7:45am) and the Bang Koo Shrine in Koh Kaew (8am).
Other Vegetarian Festival ceremonies continue later today, with all participating shrines holding ablutions and ‘bridge crossing’ ceremonies, starting at various times from 4pm through 9:30pm, depending on the shrine.
Fire walking ceremonies will also be observed at Kathu Shrine from 3pm and at Bang Koo Shrine from 7:30pm.
The main part of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival will conclude with a mass ceremony at Saphan Hin tonight.
From 10pm all the main shrines taking part in the festival will stage their final processions along the streets of Phuket Town as they head to Saphan Hin, with the main streets near Saphan Hin closed to traffic while the processions continue. (See image gallery for the map of the ‘Route for the Farewell Ritual’.)
The final ceremony, marked by a blaze of firecrackers and concluding with a hail of fireworks at midnight, marks the call for the Jade Emperor to return to the heavens as the annual festival nears its conclusion.
From 4pm tomorrow (Oct 5), all participating shrines will begin their ceremonies to lower their Go Teng poles at sunset , marking the end of this year’s festival.