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It will be all light on the night at this year's Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Phuket Vegetarian Forecast: Wet and Wild, With New Festival of Lights

Thursday, October 3, 2013
PHUKET: Firecrackers could turn to damp squibs as Phuket's famous vegetarian Festival launches in a blaze of lights for the first time this weekend.

''The forecast is for rain every day of the festival through until October 13,'' Mata Aremean, Director of the the Phuket-based Southern Meteorological Centre (West Coast), said today.

The monsoon rain was likely to be annoying but not enough for floods, he said.

Lighting up the night in Old Phuket Town from the beginning of this year's festival on Friday evening will be new neon displays at two well-known Phuket City circles and along some streets.

The spectacular has been mostly provided by the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation.

While the daily parades and nightly activities at Phuket's Chinese temples can be fun, officials are warning tourists to be on the lookout for pickpockets and thieves.

The incidence of thefts increases among the crowds that line the parade routes, especially as many of the potential targets are preoccupied taking photographs.

Thieves have been known to slash handbags with a razor to gain easy access to valuables.

The festival is expected to suffer this year from the new laws introduced in China from October 1 to protect travellers from enforced shopping and commissions.

Fewer travellers from China are expected on Phuket in the short term because the price of packages has gone up to match the real cost of fares and accommodation.

However, the biggest influx of travellers for Phuket's Vegetarian Festival has usually come from Bangkok, Singapore and Malaysia.

Resorts and guesthouses in Phuket City are generally full. Officials have also warned people to be careful to avoid exploding fireworks.

Participants have been advised to restrict impalings to the small traditional needles.

This advice tends not to be taken and photographers can expect to see petrol pumps, large guns, beach umbrellas and other strange objects being ferried around Phuket's streets in the cheeks of the invaded mah song warriors.

Parades are noisy and confronting, but non-violent. Adherents dress in white for nine days and purify their bodies by rejecting meat, alcohol, sex and cigarettes.

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Monday October 18, 2021
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