Yala’s sizzling vegetarian fest: A spicy stir of cultures draws tourists like dim sum buffet

Photo: KhaoSod.

The Yala Vegetarian Festival is now sizzling hot like a stir-fry wok. It kicked off with a spicy city-wide procession circling Betong in southern Thailand, and yellow flags popping up like corn in a kettle.

This cultural fusion extravaganza, blending Thai spice with Chinese nice, is attracting more tourists than a dim sum buffet.

Today, the festival kicked off at the Betong Clock Tower, led by Sakun Lengluckkul, the mayor of Betong and the president of the local Chinese Cultural Preservation Association, along with members of the Betong Foundation, private sector organisations and the public.

Numerous tourists from Malaysia and Singapore, dressed in white, enthusiastically participated in the city procession. The vegetarian festival in Betong is scheduled from October 14 to October 23.

Sakun invited Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, to the shrine to lead the city procession and enter the tent in front of the Betong Municipal Fresh Market, allowing locals and tourists to pay homage for good luck before the main event on October 14.

This serves as an announcement to the public that the Betong Vegetarian Festival has begun.

Yala's sizzling vegetarian fest: A spicy stir of cultures draws tourists like dim sum buffet | News by Thaiger
Locals gearing up for the vegetarian festival/KhaoSod.

The Mayor of Betong said that the vegetarian festival, an annual tradition, brings good luck to the people of Betong and preserves the beautiful local customs and traditions.

The festival includes worshipping the deities, eating vegetarian food, a city procession for good luck, walking on fire, walking on tiles, school performances, singing, and performances by various associations. This year, four shrines from Malaysia will participate in the procession on October 14, reported KhaoSod.

The vegetarian festival is one of Thailand’s most popular events. The festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or the Jay Festival, takes place on the 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar.

Those who attend the festival will follow a strict vegetarian diet. They also organize a street procession and, for a select few, self-mutilation. To know more about the festival and to join the festivities, read HERE.

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Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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