Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival is officially underway, kicking off at the weekend with the raising of the Go Teng Pole. On Saturday, October 14, over 40 Chinese shrines participated in the raising of the pole, which is traditionally raised before the first day of the festival.
The raising of the Go Teng Pole is done to welcome the Nine Emperor Gods and participants believe it brings good luck as they embark on a 9-day vegetarian diet from Sunday, October 15 to Monday, October 23. Phuket’s new governor led the event at the weekend, with many locals and foreign tourists in attendance.
The festival involves various customs carried out by Chinese descendants on the island and is traditionally referred to as the Ninth Emperor God Festival. Not only do participants eat only a vegetarian diet for 9 days, they also forego strong flavours, such as sugar, salt, and spices.
Participants wear white clothing only and attend temple to take part in various religious ceremonies. The biggest of these is the ceremony held at Wat Jui Tui Tao Bo Keang on Ranong Road in the sub-district of Talad Nuea.
And just north of Phuket, Thai Mueang also kicked off their festivities for their local Vegetarian festival with hundreds visiting the Thai Mueang Beach to celebrate the arrival of the Emperor Gods and escort them from the beach to the local temple for their ten days of celebration.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express