Pa, a receptionist at Sripanwa Phuket
“The Vegetarian Festival is the 9 day festival that turns Phuket white and its atmosphere full of merit. People wear white clothes every day and of course, they don’t eat meat alcohol and avoid doing bad things. The features of the festival are a wide range of vegetarian food, the ceremonies in the shrines, and the processions of the Chinese gods and goddess’ mediums & devotees along the main roads in Phuket Town.”
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival was first held about 180 years ago in the Kathu community. The festival is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It is believed that the vegetarian festival and its related holy rituals bestow good fortune upon those who religiously observe this rite. During this time, local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making. Holy rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and aesthetic displays such as walking barefooted over hot coals and ascending ladders with bladed rungs are performed by entranced devotees known as “Ma Song”.
During the festival, the residents of Phuket, who join the festival, perform only good actions. The island is white, white, and white everywhere. However, there are some people who can not stop drinking alcohol beverages during the festival. We want them to stop wearing white clothes then, but they can still drink beer and other alcohol drinks. The vegetarian attendees should be purified both in appearance and mind.
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