Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Note this is an outdated post from 2006. The 2020 Vegetarian Festival will be 16-26 October. More information : Phuket Veg Festival Introduction - Phuket Vegetarian Festival Schedule.
For loads more information : Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Coming soon! The annual Phuket Vegetarian festival runs this year from 22 - 30 October, and is one of Phuket's best known and most colourful festivals. The focus of the festival is in the neighbourhood of many Chinese shrines in Phuket, mostly in and around Phuket Town. Another of the main shrines (Kathu) is just down the road from my house, and this year I want to make an effort to see some of the parades and events and take a whole load of photos. This is slightly hampered by the fact that I'll be in the Similan Islands from the 21st - 26th on a dive boat, but nevertheless will be here for the last few days of the festival when things like fire walking take place.
The main parades are a bizarre spectacle as devotees pierce their bodies with all manner of items, their pain being a purification. During the week, there are many parades for the people from the various shrines.
Vegetarian Festival Street Parade Schedule
Tuesday, October 24
7:30 am: Sapam Shrine (start at Queen Sirikit Park)
Wednesday, October 25
7:19 am: Samkong Shrine
Thursday, October 26
6:30 am: Jang Ong (Yaowarat Rd, opposite Vachira Phuket Hospital)
7:30 am: Tah Reua Shrine (near the Heroines’ Monument in Thalang)
Friday, October 27
6 am: Bang Neow Shrine (on Phuket Rd, in Phuket City. The procession will pass Surin Circle and then Suriyadej Circle before heading to Saphan Hin.)
Saturday, October 28
8 am: Jui Tui Shrine (Ranong Rd, Phuket City)
Sunday, October 29
7:30 am: Kathu Shrine and Yokkekeng Shrine (start at Surakul Stadium)
7:30 am: Soi Panieng Shrine (in Samkong)
Monday, October 30
7 am: Sui Boon Tong Shrine (on Wichit Songkram Rd, Phuket City)
A special celebration to commemorate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty The King’s accession to the throne will be held on October 23rd. The festivities will begin at Queen Sirikit Park, on Thalang Rd, with a free vegetarian buffet at 1 pm.
At 3 pm, 7,000 free yellow T-shirts will be given away, although people are requested to wear their own if possible. At 4 pm, the procession will make its way from the park to Sapan Hin, where there will be a group prayer for HM The King to have a long and prosperous reign. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display, beginning about 7 pm.
During the festival, vegetarian food stalls are all over the place, look for the yellow signs.
I'll get some more photos of the Kathu shrine tomorrow, showing the preparations for the festival - I drive past almost every day.