PHUKET: A large turnout welcomed the 2005 Phuket Vegetarian Festival’s main invited guest, the Mazhofu statue – otherwise known as the Ruby Goddess – at Navamindra Memorial Square last night.
Mazhofu is a well-known Chinese deity originating on Meizhou Island in Fijian Province. Devotees believe that Mazhofu protects followers from the dangers of the sea. The deity has about six million followers in China, and there are also more than 1,000 Mazhofu shrines in Taiwan.
The Mazhofu replica was brought to Phuket in association with the Taiwan Taoism Association, and will stay on the island after the Vegetarian Festival in an as-yet-undisclosed location.
Top officials on hand to welcome the statue included Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura, Vice-Governor Winai Buapradit (soon to be Governor of Phang Nga), Phuket Provincial Administration Organization President Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr, and Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket Office Director Suwalai Pinpradab.
The statue arrived at Phuket International Airport on a 9:30 pm flight and was taken to Navamindra Memorial Square, where devotees lit joss sticks before paying respect to the deity.
K. Suwalai said that the image will be the main attraction of this year’s festival, from October 3 to 11.
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.