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Phuket readies for Vegetarian Festival, schedule released

PHUKET: Preparations are already underway for the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, which this year will be celebrated from September 29 through to October 8.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 21 August 2019, 09:37AM

The renowned Phuket Vegetarian Festival processions will take to the streets again from Sept 30 through Oct 7. Photo: PR Dept

The renowned Phuket Vegetarian Festival processions will take to the streets again from Sept 30 through Oct 7. Photo: PR Dept

The annual festival, observed during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, honours the gods and delivers devotees good health and an elevated state of spirituality as they that abstain from meat, alcohol, sex and stimulants, and perform rituals of devotion.

The festival is not only about abstaining from meat but is also a chance for people to make merit, and shines a light on one of Phuket’s oldest festivals.

A sure sign that the festival is nearly upon us is the extensive cleaning of each shrine taking part in the festival. Then, at sunset on the eve of the festival, this year on September 29, devotees raise giant Go Teng poles at the shrines so that the Jade Emperor and the Nine emperor gods may descend from the heavens to walk upon the Earth once again.

The opening days of the festival traditionally feature quiet prayers and ceremonies to honour the gods, while ablutions of faith and flesh – including fire-walking, bladed-ladder climbing, hot oil bathing and “nail bridge crossing” – dominate the latter of the nine days of festivities.

A schedule of the now world-known street processions and of the shrines to observe fire-walking as a form of spiritual cleansing for this year’s festival, was released this week, as follows:

Street Processions

Monday, September 30

  • Hun Jong Aam Joh Su Kong Naka Shrine, Wichit

Tuesday, October 1

  • Sam Pai Kong Shine, Bang Khu
  • Guan Tae Kun Shrine, Sapam
  • Sang Lang Tong Shrine, Baan Muang Mai

Wednesday, October 2

  • Tae Kun Shrine, Baan Nabon
  • Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine, Samkong
  • Tai Houd Tong Shrine, Surin Beach
  • Bu Sent Tong Shrine, Cherng Talay

Thursday, October 3

  • Tai Seng Pud Joh Shrine, Chalong
  • Jeng Ong Shrine, opposite Vachira Phuket Hospital
  • Ban Tha Rua Shrine, Tha Ruea
  • Tae Koon Tai Tae, Baan Pasak, Cherng Talay
  • Hun Jong Aam Joh Su Kong Naka Shrine, Wichit
  • Sang Lang Tong Shrine, Muang Mai, Thalang
  • Guan Tae Kun Shrine, Sapam

Friday, October 4

  • Bang Neow Shrine, Srisoonthorn
  • Gim Tsu Ong Shrine, Baan Don
  • Sam Ong Hu Shrine, Cherng Talay
  • Jong Ngie Tong Shrine, Ton Sai Waterfall
  • Tai Houd Tong Shrine, Surin Beach

Saturday, October 5

  • Jui Tui Shrine, Phuket Town
  • Gim Tsu Ong Shrine, Baan Don

Sunday, October 6

  • Lai Too Shrine, Kathu
  • Tae Gun Shrine, Ban Nabon
  • Hai Yian Keng Shrine, Baan Mai Khao
  • Yok Ke Keng Shrine, Soi Pa-niang

Monday, October 7

  • Ngoh Hian Tai Tae, Cherng Talay
  • Sui Bun Tong Shrine, Phuket Town
  • Sam Pai Kong Shrine, Bang Khu

Fire-walking ceremonies

Friday, October 4

  • 8:09pm Jui Tui Shrine
  • 8:09pm Jeng Ong Shrine
  • 8:30pm Ban Tha Rua Shrine
  • 8:45pm Guan Tae Kun Shrine
  • 8:45pm Yok Ke Keng Shrine
  • 9:00pm Sui Bun Tong Shrine
  • 9:00pm Tae Gun Shrine
  • 9:00pm Hai Yian Keng Shrine

Saturday, October 5

  • 9:00pm Tai Houd Tong Shrine
  • 9:00pm Bu Sent Tong Shrine

Sunday, October 6

  • 2;00pm Kim Su Ong Shrine
  • 8:00pm Bang Neow Shrine
  • 8:00pm Tae Koon Tai Tae
  • 8:09pm Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine
  • 9:09pm Jong Ngie Tong Shrine
  • 8:15pm Sang Lang Tong Shrine
  • 8:30pm Sam Ong Hu Shrine
  • 8:30pm Tai Seng Pud Joh Shrine

Monday, October 7

  • 3:00pm Lai Too Shrine
  • 7:30pm Sam Pai Kong Shrine

Tuesday, October 8

The Go Teng poles will be lowered in the evening of October 8 to mark the closing of the Vegetarian Festival 2019.

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