This Friday, 31 August, marks the beginning of the Por Tor Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival.

You will only find this festival in Phuket and Chiang Mai so if you happen to be here in Phuket now, you’re in luck.

This Buddhist event centres around the belief that during the 7th lunar month, the ghosts of ancestors return to their earthly homes. Relatives present offerings of food for the hungry ghosts, say prayers and light incense.

One of the things that sets this festival apart is the special cakes that are commonly offered to appease the ghosts – they are red (for good luck) and shaped like a turtle (for long life).

There will be a “Turtle Parade” in Phuket Old Town on September 2 at 10 am, starting at the Dragon Park on Thalang Road. The parade will continue along Thalang Road, Yaowarat Road, Phang Nga Rd, Charter Bank corner, Rassada Rd and end at the Phuket Downtown market on Ranong Road at about 12.20pm. If you miss that one, there will be another parade on September 9 on Phuket Road, Saphan Hin starting at 9am.

Ranong Road in Phuket Town is usually the place to go to experience the festival – as with all celebrations here, there will be plenty of performances, food stands and stalls selling all kinds of toys, clothes and handmade goods.

Be sure to check out the Por Tor Festival while it’s on – it’s another great insight into the fascinating culture and history here in Phuket.