Vegetarian Festival in Thailand
For some strange reason Cody and I had decided not to attend Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival. And then we came to our senses.
Now this is our kind of festival (not so much the stabbing anything you can get your hands on in your face) but the vegan food galore is amazing!!
The vegetarian festival started about 150 years ago in the Kathu district of Phuket Thailand by a Chinese theatre company.
When the actors became feverishly ill they chose to go with a strict vegan diet to please the 9 Chinese gods hoping they would be relieved of their illness.
Their plan worked-now whether or not they were nursed back to health due to a vegan diet or the 9 Chinese gods, we’ll never know.
The Vegetarian festival is held on the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar and is mostly observed by the Thai-Chinese community.
This year it was held from October 5th to October 13th.
We headed down to Phuket where the vegetarian festival is celebrated in full force around 9 major temples where sacred rituals and offerings are conducted.
The most ghastly rituals at the festival take place at the street processions where devotees are in a trance.
People walking barefoot over hot coals, cutting their cheeks open to insert a plethora of different objects into them, and piercing their tongues with spikes.
The devotees claim to feel no pain as they are in a trance.
The point of the festival is for merit making, spiritual cleansing, good fortune, and to banish evil.
Participants also abstain from alcohol, and other vices.
If you’re not into blood and gaping wounds there are some great fire works and even better, amazing vegan food!!
Vegan food everywhere you turn! If you don’t want to head down to Phuket for the gore, you can always head to Chinatown in Bangkok for the incredible array of food.
Food vendors and restaurants switch to a vegan menu to cater to those observing the festival.
Just look for venues displaying a yellow flag with red writing, which lets you know their food has been cooked with no animal products.
Even 7/11 participates! Look at all the goodies!! We only wish these options were available all year round.
Have you checked out our Vegan food blog about Myanmar yet? Our favourite food in Myanmar