The annual festival, observed during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, honours the gods and will deliver devotees good health and an elevated state of spirituality as they that abstain from meat, alcohol, sex and stimulants and perform rituals of devotion.
Phuket Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung held a meeting with officials from government agencies and local administrations as well as representatives from the Chinese Shrines Association at Phuket Provincial Hall on Tuesday (Aug 21).
“From October 9-17, the festival will uphold the beautiful traditions of the people of Phuket, traditions that have been handed down through the generations, faithfully observed for over 100 years” V/Gov Prakob said.
“Most Phuket people practice the traditions – abstaining from things people enjoy in normal everyday life, keeping the sacraments in mind, being of pure heart and being benevolent. These things will bring goodness to themselves,” he added.
With the festival beginning with the traditional raising of the Go Teng poles at Chines shrines across the island at sunset on Oct 9, the first major ceremonies will be held at Spahan Hin the next day, V/Gov noted.
On a very practical front, V/Gov Prakop noted that the cleanliness of the food served through the festival was of vital importance, as was measures to counter price gouging by vendors.
“The Phuket Provincial Health Office is responsible for food quality inspection and cooperation, and the Phuket Provincial Commerce Office must go to check the prices of vegetables and fruit during this period,” he said.
“Also, traffic flow (while the rital processions take place) is the responsibility of Phuket Provincial Police to organise and the Phuket Public Relations Office needs to coordinate with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket Office in presenting the activities together,” V/Gov Prakob said.