phuket 3255511 1280 - Phuket - Vegetarian FestivalImage by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

Phuket – Vegetarian Festival

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand. It is in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. Phuket has beautiful beaches, with white sand, palm trees, glittering sea, hundreds of hotels and plenty of places to dine, party and shop.

However, if you are visiting Phuket, “heaven on earth” do not skip the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, because you can experience a mystical and even frightening experience for someone who will introduce you to ancient Eastern philosophies. The festivities take place near Chinese temples scattered throughout Phuket. It is believed that the festival and sacred ceremonies bring good luck to those who attend and to those who respect it, and thousands of participants from China and other Asian destinations come to this spectacular annual event.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2020 – From Friday 16th till Sunday 25th October 2020

The festival is based on the belief of the Chinese community that their abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the 9th lunar Chinese calendar will help them gain mental and physical health and peace.

The festival is known for its ‘extreme’ scenes. Summoning gods, some “summoned God-mediators” men and women walk in street in in trance, they injure themselves, piercing bodies with various objects, including knives, swords, metal rods, saws and other household items, burning itself with fire, walking barefoot on hot coal or climbing 8-foot scalloped ladders.
It is believed that the Chinese gods will protect such persons from injury, that there will not be much blood or scarring.

The festival always begins on the first day of the 9th Chinese Lunar Month (although the pole-picking ceremony is the night before), and participants have to observe the following obligations for 9 days:

Cleanliness of the body during the festival
Clean kitchen utensils, which must not be used by others not attending the festival
Wear white during the festival
To behave properly, both physically and mentally
Avoid eating meat
Avoid sex
Avoid alcohol
People in grief should not participate
Pregnant women and menstruating women should not attend the ceremonies

Injuries are most commonly occur at the festival through the use of firecrackers. All the rituals are accompanied by the sound of drums and the rumbling of fireworks, which are very loud because the noise drive away evil spirits.

At the festival, visitors can also sample the vegetarian cuisine available at street stalls and markets.