Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2016-2017 Video Pictures
Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Phuket:
Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival might be the most bizarre way to honor animals, as participants shove knives, swords, umbrellas, and a litany of other objects into their faces.
The festival, which takes place in Phuket until Nov. 1, celebrates a nine day abstinence from meat to promote good health. This is the second festival to take place this year.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a colourful event held over a nine-day period in October, celebrating the Chinese community’s belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. Though the origins of the festival are unclear, it is commonly thought that the festival was bought to Phuket by a wandering Chinese opera group who fell ill with malaria while performing on the island. They decided to adhere to a strict vegetarian diet and pray to the Nine Emperor Gods to ensure purification of the mind and body. To everyone’s amazement the opera group made a complete recovery.
The people celebrated by holding a festival that was meant to honour the gods as well as express the people’s happiness at surviving what was, in the 19th century, a fatal illness. Subsequently the festival has grown and developed into a spectacular yearly event that is attended by thousands with participants flying in from China and other Asian destinations.