Phuket Vegetarian Festival – Thailand
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is the most grand and important annual events, which attracting visitors from around the world. During this nine day festival, the participating dress all in white and abstinence from eating meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products. Vegan diet will be the main course to cleanse the body and gain good fortune.
I’m not fully adopting a vegetarian diet, but I really enjoy variety of tempting vegetarian cuisine. It’s also have partial I don’t like it, because most of vegan diet was deep-fry and greasy. Despite that, the healthy choice like pure vegetable with rice, bun or pastry still can find it.
Although this festival celebration is across Thailand, nowhere are the festivities as spectacular as they are in Phuket. Because Phuket is the historical home of the Vegetarian Festival.
MahSong is the people who invite the spirits of gods to possess their bodies. While they engage in amazing acts of self-mutilation. Devotees will pierce their cheeks and tongues with pins, fishhooks, knives, spears, swords and even guns. After that processions on the road, they are accompanied by support teams who keep their wounds clean and help carry some heavy piercing object. During the ceremony, devotions are a central feature of the festival.
Some other spectacular rituals and ceremonies include fire walking and climbing tall ladders of razor sharp blades. The Visitor can be observe it at the most famous Chinese shrines across Phuket island. The spirits of gods do really protect the MahSong injuries from the fire charcoal and step on the razor blade.
You can’t find the disgusting photo of self-mutilation inside this post. I just want to show you about this culture and tell some of this story. Let’s have a look how this happens and celebration.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival was inherited almost 200 years, began in 1825 by a travelling Chinese Opera troupe. While performing for tin mine workers in Phuket, many of the performers became ill with malaria, which had been inflicting the local community. At that time, due to the poor medical facility, some illness was hard to recover.
So they make a decision to change the lifestyle, adopting a strict vegetarian diet and pray for blessing from the Emperor Gods. They also adopted the tradition of refraining from meat, alcohol, sex, dishonesty, conflict and violence.
Soon after adopting this solution, the performers of the opera troupe returned healthy. The local community who know that the performers recover from the epidemic, all of them were following the same practices. Before long, the fatal illness ceased to endanger the people of Phuket.
They believe the Nine Emperor God’s blessing to return to good health. Since then, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival has been celebrated on an annual basis. Starting each year on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and continuing for nine days. Until the ninth evening of the ninth lunar month after Farewell Procession. All the festivals extraordinary ceremonies and processions for the purpose of appreciation to the Nine Emperor Gods and pray for blessing the following year.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival also knows as Nine Emperor Gods Festival. The Nine Emperor Gods are the nine sons manifested by Father Emperor ZhouYu and Mother of the Big Dipper DouMu.
The climax of this festival is the Nine Emperors’ Farewell Procession, Phuket town going madly by non-stop fireworks and firecrackers in every corner. Each of the main temple joining the procession with statues of gods carrying by follower accompanied by MahSong toward Saphan Hin, where the Nine Emperor Gods leave the island.
A long way of Farewell Procession, surrounded people will continue to throw the firecracker to the statues of gods and MahSong. You even unable to breathe some fresh air, whole the city is cover by the smoke of the firecrackers.
This last procession like a big big crazy party, you should join it at lease one time in your life, an experience that you won’t easily forget. But you need well to prepare for it, must have an industrial face mask. It’s strongly not recommend for someone with dyspnea.
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