The Vegetarian Festival of Phuket is an annual event that commences on the 20th of October 2017 and lasts a total of eight days.
What is it for?
The vegetarian festival celebrates the Chinese belief that refraining from the consumption of meat and other stimulants will help the believers in obtaining peace of mind and good health.
It is believed that a Chinese opera group contracted malaria while touring the island. Over the next few days, they adopted a vegetarian diet and prayed to the Nine Emperor Gods. After their prayers were answered, the locals celebrated with a festival to honour the Gods.
Some of the ceremonies which are held to please the gods include body piercing; with large rods, knives, skewers etc., firewalking and other self-mortification acts.
Where do these take place?
Each of these ceremonies takes places inside the six temples around Phuket; the main one being Jui Tui Shrine, located in the main town. As this is a popular time to visit Phuket, hotel deals are quite easy to find, especially at properties such as Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas. If you’re planning to head here during this time, pre book your stay!
Those participating in the event are to abstain from consuming meat, alcohol and intercourse. Participants are required to ensure their body is clean and white attire is compulsory. People who are mourning, pregnant or menstruating are not allowed to attend or participate in the festival.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.