Go Teng poles raised, Phuket Vegetarian Festival underway

PHUKET: Vegetarian Festival participants raised Go Teng poles at every Chinese shrine in Phuket at sunset yesterday to allow the Jade Emperor, one of the Nine Emperor Gods, to descend from the heavens – marking the start of the 2015 festivities.

Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada was one of hundreds of white-clad observers who attended the pole raising at the Jui Tui shrine.

“This is an ancient festival on the island. I would like to call on all the people of Phuket to join the festivities,” said Governor Chamroen, as he marked the 190th Vegetarian Festival.

“To ensure everyone has a good time, I have made safety a priority. The appropriate authorities are ensuring the cleanliness of the food.”

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Gov Chamroen asked that everyone be cautious with the firecrackers and fireworks.

“Those who sell them must follow the law and not sell illegal firecrackers or ones that could be dangerous,” he said.

This year the festival will hold a parade in honor of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 88th birthday on October 14 at Chai Field.

The schedule for street processions by Chinese shrines:

October 14: Choor Su Gong Naka Shrine (Phuket Town)
October15: Sapam Shrine (Phuket Town)
October 16: Samkong Shrine
October 17: Ban Tha Rue Shrine (Phuket Town)
October 18: Bang Neow Shrine (Phuket Town), Cherng Talay Shrine (Thalang District)
October 19: Jui Tui Shrine (Phuket Town)
October 20: Kathu Shrine (Kathu Town), Yokkekeng Shrine (Phuket Town)
October 21: Sui Boon Tong Shrine (Phuket Town)

The schedule for fire-walking events:
October 18
8pm: Ban Tha Rue Shrine
8pm: Yokkekeng Shrine
8:09pm: Jui Tui Shrine at Saphan Hin
9pm: Sapam Shrine
9pm: Sui Boon Tong Shrine

October 20
8pm: Bang Neow Shrine
8pm: Samkong Shrine
8:09pm: Cherng Talay Shrine

October 21
3pm: Kathu Shrine

The schedule for bladed-ladder climbing events:
October 19
7:59pm: Cherng Thalay Shrine
8pm: Bang Neow Shrine
8pm: Samkong Shrine

Meanwhile, Sapam Shrine will hold a nail bridge crossing event at 8pm on October 19.

10 Rules of the Vegetarian Festival

1. Maintain personal cleanliness
2. Use separate clean kitchen utensils and do not share with others not participating
3. Wear white
4. Maintain polite behavior
5. Abstain from eating meat or other animal-based products
6. Abstain from sexual activities
7. Abstain from consuming alcohol
8. People in mourning should not take part
9. Pregnant women must refrain from watching festival rituals
10. Menstruating women should not attend festival rituals.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News

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