Saturday, 14 November 2009

Phuket Vegetarian Festival - Great For Tourists

The most important Phuket festival that is held each year must certainly be the Vegetarian festival. The Vegetarian festival in Phuket takes place during the first 9 days of the 9th lunar month of the traditional Chinese calendar.

The Vegetarian festival normally falls in the last week of September of within the first week of October.

The Phuket vegetarian festival is organized each year to celebrate the start of the Taoist lent. Due to the large number of Phuket residents with Chinese roots, the Taoist lent is celebrated among a large group of the population of Phuket. The festival starts of by devout Chinese religious believers completely abstaining from all dairy and meat products.

The festivities in Phuket that are held during the vegetarian festival can be found at one of the five main Chinese temples on Phuket. The best Chinese temples to visit are the Bang Niaw Chinese Temple and the Jui Tui Chinese Temple.

The vegetarian festival involves more then only the abstinence of dairy and meat products. Other parts of the festival includes the temple offerings to the Monks, offering of gifts to the nine emperor gods which awake during the festival, fireworks and cultural shows but to name a few.

A number of participants to the vegetarian festival on Phuket act as mediums between the 9 deities to earth. These mediums try to achieve a special state of trance. Once this state of trance is reached, their cheeks are pierced by numerous sharp objects such as spears and knifes.

Afterwards these special Vegetarian festival mediums all join a large procession which takes them by many shops which have places altars along the street with special offerings. These mediums pick up the fruits which are offered to them by the shop keepers and they add the offerings to the sharp items which are sticking out of their cheeks. If there is no space available the mediums will give the offerings to bystanders.

It is said to be a sign of good luck and a true blessing if one is to receive a gift from one of the mediums during the festival procession.

The atmosphere of the vegetarian festival is certainly unique and should be experienced by every traveler who is staying on the island during the event. If one was to describe the whole event in a few words then the festival could be described as a religious frenzy.

Where ever you look you will see spectacular ritual dancing, loud fireworks, blood stained shirt worn by the mediums and ancient religious worshipping activities.

If you ask the Phuket residents with Chinese roots as to the origin of the festival then they will tell you a tragic story. They say that a Chinese theatre troupe visited Phuket around one and a half century ago.

The Chinese troupe was struck by tragedy when all members of the Chinese theatre troupe turned seriously ill. The story goes that they had turned ill because they had neglected to offer respects to the nine emperor gods of Taoism. The only way in which the Chinese troupe members could cure themselves was with a 9 day lent which included solely vegetarian foods, long periods of meditations and acts of self piercing.

James is currently living on Phuket and is working on a number of projects. If you are looking for a great Phuket hotel then do consider staying at Club Bamboo Resort. Read more about Samui in his Samui Guide

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment