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Phuket first: Vegetarian Festival twice in one year

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket first: Vegetarian Festival twice in one year | The Thaiger

PHUKET: For the first time in its history, the world famous Phuket Vegetarian Festival will occur twice in one year.

This year will see twice the number of 9th lunar months in the Chinese lunar calendar and twice the number of visits from the gods. However, maybe not twice the amount of celebrating.

“According to the Chinese lunar calendar there are two 9th lunar months this year. It happens every 100 years,” explained the president of the Jui Tui Shrine, Teeravut Sritularak, 65. “This means there will be two times for the Vegetarian Festival.”

The full-on festival will run from September 24 to October 2, followed by the unique nine days, which will span from October 24 to November 1 this year.

The Jui Tui Shrine, which is based in the heart of Phuket Town and plays a leading role for Vegetarian Festival events, is looking to downplay the second round of festivities.

“Our shrine puts on too big of a celebration to do it twice in one year. However, we’ll have a meeting to discuss what we want to do. If enough people want to do it twice, we might,” Mr Teeravut said.

“Originally, we were just planning to open a restaurant at the shrine to provide food during the second period.”

The Vegetarian Festival, or jia chai in local Hokkien Chinese, began in 1825, when the governor of Thalang, Praya Jerm, moved the island’s principal town from Ta Reua in Thalang District to Get-Hoe in Kathu District, where there was many tin mines and Chinese miners. Kathu, at that time, was still covered in jungle and fever was rife. It happened that a traveling opera company (called ngiu in Thai or pua-hee in the Hokkien dialect) came from China to perform for the miners.

When the whole company grew sick from an unnamed malady, they kept to a vegetarian diet to honor two of the emperor gods Kiew Ong Tai Teh and Yok Ong Sone Teh. The sickness afflicting the opera troupe then disappeared. This greatly interested the people of Kathu, who asked how it was done. The answer came that ritual vegetarianism with its attendant ceremonies had been the remedy, and as a result, people embraced the faith enthusiastically.

Throughout the years, the simple practice of devotion grew into a vibrant festival held every year in Phuket. Today, the Vegetarian Festival draws visitors from all over the world. The multitude of stalls selling vegan food, the lively parades, the ear-shattering fireworks, as well as the self-mutilation performed by scores of possessed ma song are all familiar sights of the event.

Ma Song, or entranced horses, are devotees whom the gods enter during the fest. They manifest supernatural powers and perform self-torture in order to shift evil from individuals onto themselves, and to bring the community good luck. Ma Song fall into two categories: those who, having had an intimation of impending doom, want to extend their lives; and people specially chosen by the gods for their moral qualities.

Throughout the festival, fireworks and drums are sounded, especially during ceremonies. It is believed that the louder they are, the better, because the noise drives away evil spirits.

Participants in the festival keep to a strict vegan diet for a varying number of days, usually no less than three. This they do to make themselves strong in mind and body; they refrain from all vice, eating animal flesh and killing animals. The festival thus promotes good hygiene, brightness and inner peace.

10 Rules for the Vegetarian Festival:

1. Maintain clean bodies during the festival.
2. Clean kitchen utensils and use them separately from others who do not participate in the festival.
3. Wear white during the festival.
4. Behave physically and mentally.
5. Do not eat meat or other animal-based products.
6. Abstain from sexual activities.
7. Do not consume alcoholic beverages.
8. People in a mourning state should not partake in the festival.
9. Pregnant ladies should not watch any of the rituals.
10. Ladies having their period should not attend the ritual.

— Saran Mitrarat



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Business

Beam me up Phuket – new space theme hotel for the island

Bill Barnett

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Beam me up Phuket – new space theme hotel for the island | The Thaiger

A 150 key space themed hotel is under development in Kathu, Phuket, by a Singaporean group .

Located close to the Central Festival and Makro complexes, the project is expected to open next year according to a report in TTG Asia.

The One Pioneer – Beyond Space Travel hotel say it’s “highly focused on an outer space storyline and will have an indoor observatory”.

Janette Lee, founder and CEO, says the hotel is poised to open sometime in 2020.

“Tourism business in Thailand and in Phuket will continue to grow but there is still a lack of new attractions. Our vision is to bring to life the dreams of mankind for an experience of space on earth. Our target markets will be both local and international tourists.”

According to Lee, the company is seeking partners from Thailand or elsewhere to complete the project. She has had discussions with potential partners and investors during the South East Asia Hotel Investment Summit which took place in Bangkok last week.

Prior to entering the tourism business, Lee had sold her private education business and social enterprise in Singapore. She also used to work in the financial sector.

The project cost is estimated at $40 million.

Beam me up Phuket - new space theme hotel for the island | News by The Thaiger Beam me up Phuket - new space theme hotel for the island | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Two charged with attacking an ambulance and driver in Phuket

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Two charged with attacking an ambulance and driver in Phuket | The Thaiger

Two men were have been charged with attacking a moving ambulance and the volunteer ambulance driver along the ByPass Road in Phuket earlier this week.

The two assailants were easily identified as 22 year old Sagib Yomyai and 29 year old Sutthi Sripoon, both from Trang province, were arrested at a rented house in Tambon Wichit, Muang district, with an array of incriminating evidence that included a pistol, two bullets, a knife and an axe.

The pair were then taken for questioning in front of Phuket police chief Pol Maj General Wisan Panmanee.

The men were charged by police with damaging, or rendering useless, property belonged to another person, threatening another person and illegal possession of a gun.

The charges follow an attack on the ambulance with a knife and an axe as it was driving on Chalerm Phrakiat King Rama 9 road (ByPass Road) in Muang district on May 20.

The ambulance driver, 41 year old Detnarong Songsang, a lawyer by profession, told Wichit Police that the two men were on a Honda Wave motorcycle that chased after him after he beeped his horn at them for dangerously changing lanes near Siriroj Hospital at around 5pm on Monday.

Two charged with attacking an ambulance and driver in Phuket | News by The Thaiger Two charged with attacking an ambulance and driver in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

One of the men threw an object at the back of the ambulance and then tried several times to use a knife to pierce the ambulance’s hood cover. They kept up the chase and then attacked the rear again, this time with an axe.

Detnarong accelerated to escape and luckily for him, the men spotted police on the road ahead, so they gave up the pursuit. He went straight to the police station to report the incident.

Damage estimated at 50,000 baht was caused to the back windshield of the ambulance, its two side windows and the hood cover. As police were still hunting the suspects, Detnarong posted a four-minute video clip and photo on to his Facebook account to help spread the news.

One reporter asked the driver why he didn’t just drive them off the road, Detnarong said he was trained to save people and it was inappropriate to use an ambulance to cause harm.

Two charged with attacking an ambulance and driver in Phuket | News by The Thaiger Two charged with attacking an ambulance and driver in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Phuket

No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Newshawk Phuket / อาสา ของ ประชาชน

A trailer has skidded and lost control, and then collided with concrete barriers at the southern entrance to the Darasamut Underpass this morning. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

Wichit Police were notified of the incident at 10am. Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find the damaged trailer truck and smashed barriers. Both lanes inside the underpass were blocked until the truck and debris could be removed.

Police checked CCTV footage showing that the truck was heading down into the underpass. The truck lost control after starting to skid sideways and smashed through the median barriers.

#ภูเก็ต #วินาที เกิดอุบัติเหตุอุโมงค์ทางลอดดาราสมุทร #Phuket #VIDEO 9.37am accident at the entrance of the Darasamut Underpass northbound. #NewshawkPhuket#NewsInPhuket #PhuketTraffic #PhuketUnderpass #accident #PhuketAccident #PhuketRoadSafety

Posted by เหยี่ยวข่าว ภูเก็ต on Wednesday, May 22, 2019

 

No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger No injury as trailer truck loses control in Phuket Darasamut Underpass - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

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