The event, being organised by the Phuket Provincial Office, the Thai-Chinese Tourism Association, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, is to specially mark 49 days since the disaster.
Phuket Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung led the opening ceremony with the lighting of candles and prayers led by a host of monks.
Mass prayers and offerings were made to the Chinese goddess Guan Yin and paper houses for each spirit lost in the disaster were on display. The houses are to be burnt as a way of sending them to the heavens for the departed.
Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat was to join a special multi-faith service that to be held early this evening.
Activities start early tomorrow (Aug 23) with a ‘mini-marathon’ getting underway at 5am.
In the afternoon there will be alms-giving ceremonies with mas prayers held from 6pm.
A candle-lighting ceremony attended by leading dignitaries will be held at 7:30pm.
All people taking part in the ceremonies are asked to wear white.