If the ceremonial displays, and the continuous aroma of freshly-cooked vegetarian food piercing the smoke of 1000s of fireworks don’t catch your attention at the Phuket Vegetarian festival, nothing will. Bring your appetite and your camera, because this is something that you surely won’t want to miss.
The Vegetarian Festival starts tomorrow, September 27th, in Phuket Town and will run until October 5th. Many non-vegetarian restaurants have already made the conversion to a meatless menu for this 10-day event. Over the next week and a half, many Phuket residents will adhere to a vegan or vegetarian diet for spiritual purification and merit-making. You can look forward to experiencing a continuous ricochet of fireworks, rhythmic drum beats and crowds of attendees dressed in all white. It is believed that good fortune will be bestowed upon those who take part in sacred rituals such as fire walking, bladed ladder climbing and hot oil bathing. These ceremonies are performed by possessed individuals, or Maa Song (spellbound horses) throughout the festival invoke the presence of the gods Lam Tao (god of the living) and Pak Tao (god of the dead). The public display of supernatural powers and self-tortures are said to bring the community good luck.
Those who have attended this event before know it is not to be missed. You can wander around the festival with a plate of piping hot vegetarian spring rolls paired perfectly with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce, and absorb all of the sights, sounds, and smells. Definitely do not miss your chance to immerse yourself in this cultural experience.