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The Vegetarian Festival is a real blast for the senses

Events: Phuket Vegetarian Festival, September 29

Friday, September 19, 2008
THE Vegetarian Festival has its detractors, people who see the pierced cheeks and never look beyond the admittedly confronting sight.

It's certainly a unique Phuket experience, never to be forgotten.

The streets at several key points are jam-packed with stalls selling vegetarian food, yellow flags fly on all major thoroughfares, and adherents dress in white.

Whether they manage to give up meat, alcohol and sex for three days or the entire nine days of the festival, those who do manage some abstinence feel better for it.

Slowly but surely, the festival is attracting greater attention from Western tourists because the health benefits have become more widely accepted.

This year, the festival even gains resort support with the J. W. Marriott organising packages for guests that centre on five-star vegetarian cooking.

The big street parades by the various Taoist temples make fabulous viewing, especially if you are fortunate enough to be given a piece of blessed fruit or a wrist band from a possessed warrior.

For local residents, the final night becomes a huge social event when thousands of people pack the streets of Phuket City and the temple processions converge on the public park at Saphan Hin.

Skyrockets are fired, bamboo poles laden with strings of fireworks explode, and bystanders throw crackers under the feet of barefoot, impervious marching warriors.

The noise and the excitement go on for hours.

In a world where Guy Fawkes Night and other fireworks-based festivals have long been abandoned as unsafe, it's an amazing and truly memorable assault on the eyes and the ears.

This year's festival begins with the arrival of the spirits late on September 28, begins in earnest the following morning, and ends with a huge night of fireworks and passion on October 7.

Street Parade Schedule

October 1 SAPAM SHRINE
From the Shrine to Phuket City
October 2 LIM HU TAI SU SHRINE (SAMKONG)
From the Shrine to Phuket City
October 3 BAN THA RUE SHRINE
From the Shrine to Phuket City
JANG ONG SHRINE
From the Shrine to Phuket City
KATHU SHRINE
From the Shrine to Patong Beach
TAE GUN TAI TAE SHRINE (BAN PASAK)
From the Shrine to Pasak Village and Ban Don
Market
October 4 BANG NEOW SHRINE
In Phuket City
CHERNG THALAY SHRINE
Street Procession in Thalang
GIM TSU ONG SHRINE (BAN DON)
From the Shrine to Maikhao Village
October 5 JUI TUI SHRINE
In Phuket City
GIM TSU ONG SHRINE (BAN DON)
In Ban Don Village - Ban Kian Village - Ban Sakoo Village - Ban Naiyang Village - Airport - Muang Mai Village
October 6 KATHU SHRINE
From the Shrine to Phuket City
YOK KE KENG SHRINE
From the Shrine to Phuket City
BAN THA RUE SHRINE
From the Shrine to Thalang Town
October 7 SUI BOON TONG SHRINE
In Phuket City
BANGKOO SHRINE
From the Shrine to Sapam and Bangkoo Villages

Phuket Secrets of a Vegetarian Muslim Warrior
Confronting to the senses, challenging to logic, Phuket's Vegetarian Festival is a memorable experience. Possessed by spirits, the warriors perform amazing deeds. A Muslim link is yet another surprise.
Phuket Secrets of a Vegetarian Muslim Warrior

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Monday July 13, 2020
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