Phuket Vegetarian Festival

11-19 October 2007

Venue: Various Chinese shrines and temples in Phuket

Phuket Province – the Pearl of the South – is scheduled to hold its most celebrated and magnificent annual vegetarian festival, lasting for 9 days, starting from 11 to 19 October 2007 at various Chinese shrines and temples in Phuket.

The festival is a religious event originating from China and was first performed in Kathu, a mining town of Phuket, by a Chinese opera company about 170 years ago. At that time, the objective of the performance was to get rid of malaria prevalent in the district.

In fact, the full name of the festival is “Observe the Commandments and Abstain from Meat”; the former part is considered more important than the latter, though it is not perceptible to the outsiders. During the festival, the participants will make merit by abstaining from food and oil from animals and wear white clothes.

The most spectacular part of the festival is a procession of priests and images of gods, who are believed to protect the participants from troubles and bad luck throughout the year. Besides the procession, magical performances of religious rites at the temples are also absorbing part of the festival.

Exotic performances consist of several kinds of dangerous acts, conducting by priests, to show the power of gods and to strengthen the faith of their followers. The acts include walking barefoot across a stretch of ground paved with burning charcoal, climbing up and down, also barefoot, a stepladder with 72 cross-pieces made of sharp iron blades, and cutting, striking or piercing parts of the body with sharp or pointed objects.

Besides attending this famous festival, observers are welcome to explore this dreamy island province in the Andaman Sea.

For more information, please contact:
TAT Southern Office: Region 4 (Phuket)
Tel: +66 (0) 7621 1036, +66 (0) 7621 2213
Fax: +66 (0) 7621 3582