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Phuket preps for 2014 Vegetarian Festivals – both of them

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Yellow and red flags are popping up around the island ahead of the world-renowned Phuket Vegetarian Festival, which will kick off on September 24 at shrines across the island.

The much anticipated annual festival, which will run until October 2, will begin with a ceremonial raising of go teng poles to allow the Jade Emperor and the Nine Emperor Gods to descend to our earthly realm.

The nine-day event attracts thousands of visitors to Phuket to witness the festivities, which include fire-walking, bladed-ladder climbing, hundreds of stalls fully stocked with vegan foods and processions at locations across the island.

On the last day of the festival, all participating shrines stage street processions to Saphan Hin between 11:45pm and midnight to bid the gods a “Grand Farewell” before they are sent heavenward.

The final processions are renowned for the large number of firecrackers set alight by devotees and revelers as the processions pass by.

This year, for this first time in the history of the festival, Phuket will host two Vegetarian Festivals, as an intercalary month, or leap month, falls in the ninth month of the Chinese calendar (story here).

An official schedule for the second Vegetarian Festival, which will run from October 24 to November 1, has yet to be released, but several shrines on the island will honor the festival with a second round of commemorations.

The shrines that will be holding two commemorations are as follows: Cherng Talay Shrine; Gim Tsu Ong Shrine in Cherng Talay; Hai Yian Geng Shrine in Mai Khao; Kathu Shrine; Sam Sae Su Hud Shrine at Rang Hill in Phuket Town; and Sheng Leng Tong Shrine in Muang Mai, Thalang.

10 Rules for the Vegetarian Festivals

1. Maintain personal cleanliness
2. Clean kitchen utensils used separately from others who do not participate
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

The schedule for street processions by Chinese Shrines from September 24 is as follows:

September 25, 2014
8am: Choor Su Gong Naka Shrine (Phuket Town)

September 26, 2014
6:30am: Bangkoo Shrine (Phuket Town)
7am: Sapam Shrine (Phuket Town)
7am: Hai Yian Geng Shrine (Nai Yang)
4pm: Cherng Talay Shrine (Baan Manik)

September 27, 2014
6:30am: Cherng Talay Shrine (Surin Beach)
7am: Tae Gun Shrine (Chalong, Karon)
7:09am: Sheng Leng Tong (Muang Mai, Thalang)
7:19am: Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine (Samkong)
8:30am: Bu Seng Tong Shrine (Baan Don – Surin beach)
3:30pm: Hai Yian Geng Shrine (Tah Chat Chai)

September 28, 2014
6.30am: Jeng Ong Shrine (Phuket Town)
7.15am: Tae Gun Tai Tae Shrine (Cherng Talay)
7.30am: Ban Tha Rue Shrine (Phuket Town)
4.45pm: Choor Su Gong Naka Shrine (Wichit)
7pm: Sapam Shrine (north of Phuket Town)

September 29, 2014
6am: Sam Sae Su Hud Shrine (Phuket Town)
6am: Bang Neow Shrine (Phuket Town)
6.30am: Gim Tsu Ong Shrine (Mai Khao)
7am: Cherng Talay Shrine (Baan Don)
3:30pm: Sheng Leng Tong Shrine (Baan Maphrao, Thalang)

September 30, 2014
6.30am: Gim Tsu Ong Shrine (Baan Don-Airport-Muang Mai)
8.09am: Jui Tui Shrine (Phuket Town)

October 1, 2014
6.45am: Kathu Shrine (Phuket Town)
7am: Tae Gun Shrine (Chalong)
8:30am: Hai Yiang Geng Shrine (Mai Khao)
8:30am: Ban Tha Rue Shrine (Thalang)
9:30am: Yok Ke Keng Shrine (Phuket Town)

October 2, 2014
7:45am: Ngor Hian Tai Tae Shrine (Cherng Talay)
8am: Sui Boon Tong Shrine (Phuket Town)
8am: Bangkoo Shrine (Sapam, Bang Khu)

Schedule for fire-walking events

September 29, 2014
8pm: Ban Tha Rue Shrine
8pm: Jeng Ong Shrine
8:09pm: Jui Tui Shrine
8:45pm: Yok Ke Keng Shrine
9pm: Sui Boon Tong Shrine
9pm: Tae Gun Shrine
9pm: Tae Gun Shrine
9:30pm: Hai Yian Geng Shrine

September 30, 2014
9pm: Bu Seng Tong Shrine

October 1, 2014
2pm: Gim Tsu Ong Shrine
8pm: Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine
8pm: Bang Neow Shrine
8pm: Tae Gun Tai Tae Shrine
8pm: Sam Hong Hu Shrine
8:30pm: Sheng Leng Tong
8:30pm: Hoon Joong Jor Su Gong Shrine

October 2, 2014
3pm: Kathu Shrine
7:30pm: Sam Pai Kong Shrine

— Chutharat Plerin


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