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Vegetarian Festival - Phuket - 18th to 23rd October 2012

 

 

For the first time this year, Phuket Photo Tours proudly introduces a series of special tours to take you on a memorable journey in the heart of one of Phuket’s most famous and fascinating festival: the Vegetarian Festival during which sacred rituals are held to bestow good fortune upon the believers who observe a ten days vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing.

 

History of the festival

 

The origins of this festival date back to 1825, when a Chinese traveling opera company – invited on the island to entertain the numerous Chinese miners – fell ill, with what is now thought to be malaria.

 

The artists then adhered to a strict vegetarian diet to honor the gods Kiew Ong Tai Teh and Yok Ong Sone The and recovered. Since that day in Phuket people from Chinese descent honor the emperor Gods every year on the first evening of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.

 

Highlights

 

During this 10 days festival, Phuket’s believers adhere to a strict vegetarian diet and observe several other commandments including sex and alcohol abstinence. Several sacred rituals are held at various Chinese shrines in Phuket Town with lots of time for worshipping and praying.

 

But the Vegetarian Festival is mostly known its spectacular and sometimes gruesome ceremonies during which participants acting as mediums of the Gods, known as “Ma Song”, perform acts of self-mutilation such as barefoot walking over fire, cheek piercing with all kind of unimaginable household items, bladed ladder climbing, etc.

 

Despite the belief that the Gods are preventing the “Ma Song” to experience any pain, these scenes can be quite gruesome but they make incredible photo opportunities and a chance to live a once in the lifetime experience.

 

Other unique photo opportunities include street processions for all the excitement of the thousands of firecrackers, the yellow festooned streets and the numerous food stalls serving vegetarian food that are certainly worth a try.

 

 

Photo Gallery

Vegetarian Festival

Vegetarian Festival

Vegetarian Festival

Vegetarian Festival

Vegetarian Festival

  • Vegetarian Festival
  • Vegetarian Festival
  • Vegetarian Festival
  • Vegetarian Festival
  • Vegetarian Festival

 

 

Program

See you next year for more exciting tours at the Vegetarian Festival...

 

 

Practicalities