Phuket Vegetarian Festival starts today

PHUKET: The annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival gets underway at sunset tonight with the raising of the go teng poles for the Jade Emperor and the Nine Emperor Gods to descend to our earthly realm.

Each year, the nine-day Vegetarian Festival attracts thousands of tourists to Phuket to witness the various activities held across the island.

The street processions each year, however, add to the usual traffic jams on the island. This year, the impending start of road works at the Central Festival intersection as construction on the underpass may add to the experience.

To assist tourists and help motorists avoid traffic jams during the festival, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has posted the following festival street procession information:

Wednesday, Oct 17

7am – Sapam Shrine (Click here for map of location)

Thursday, Oct 18

7:19am – Samkong Shrine (Click here for map of location)

Friday, Oct 19

7am – Sapam Shrine (Click here for map of location)

7:30am – Tha Rue Shrine (Click here for map of location)

Saturday, Oct 20

7am – Bang Neow Shrine (Click here for map of location)
(Click here for street procession route map)

7:30am – Cherng Thalay Shrine

Sunday, Oct 21

8am – Jui Tui Shrine (Click here for map of location)
(Click here for street procession route map)

Monday, Oct 22

7am – Kathu Shrine and Yokkekeng Shrine
(Click here for street procession route map)

6:30pm – Tha Rue Shrine
Street procession in Thalang District only

Tuesday, Oct 23

7am – Sui Boon Tong Shrine, also called the “Lor Rong Shrine”
(Click here for map of location)

All participating shrines stage street processions from their shrines to Saphan Hin on October 23 to take part in the “Grand Farewell” bonfire to send the gods heavenwards as the official closing ceremony of the festival.

The processions, some of which start in the mid- to late afternoon, are scheduled to arrive in sequence at Saphan Hin between 11:45pm and midnight.

The final processions are renowned for the large volume of firecrackers set alight by devotees and revelers as the processions pass by, and for the high volume noise they create.

Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) chief Dr Sak Tanchaikul, noting that one tourist died last year from complications brought on by smoke inhalation, last month called for stricter precautions to protect people from the dangers of the festivities.

For a comprehensive list of events, see the Phuket Vegetarian Festival website (click here).

Phuket News
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