At around 4pm yesterday, over 30 shrines performed the Go Teng pole ceremony where the lowering of the pole signifies the end of the festival.
There was a significant gathering of people at the Jui Tui Shrine on Ranong Rd in Phuket Town to watch the official closing. Many took home bamboo branches and other items used in the nine-day festival as auspicious safekeeps.
Those present respected requests by the shrine to adhere to health and safety precautionary measures mandated by the provincial government by wearing facemasks and following disease prevention orders.
This year’s Vegetarian Festival has been very underwhelming compared to years gone by, predominantly due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Devastating nationwide flooding earlier this month also had a detrimental impact as prices of vegetables were hiked as a result.
People did take to the streets on Thursday (Oct 14) to celebrate the final evening of the festival by setting off firecrackers but even this was lacklustre compared to previous years.
It has been announced that next year’s Phuket Vegetarian Festival will take place between Sept 26 – Oct 4.