Festival ceremony to be televised live
PHUKET TOWN: This year will be the first time that a highlight of the island’s annual Vegetarian Festival will be televised live across Thailand. Channel 7 will broadcast the “go teng” pole raising ceremony, led by Somsak Thepsutin, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, at the Jui Tui Shrine on Soi Phuton, from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm, on October 16. Great poles are raised at each Chinese temple in Phuket Town on the afternoon of the day before the festival, to allow the gods to descend from the heavens. At midnight, nine lanterns are hung from each of the poles, signifying the opening of the festival. The television coverage has been made possible by the combined efforts of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Phuket’s Chamber of Commerce. Pamuke Achariyachai, chairman of Phuket’s Chamber of Commerce, told the Gazette, “I think that it’s about time that the festival was promoted nationwide, especially since the complicated situation with the US may affect Phuket’s tourism in the long-term. “This festival has been an annual event for more than 100 years and very little has changed. It’s worthwhile to watch and join in the festival,” he added.
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