Price hike in vegetables prior to Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Vegetables at Public Market 2 in Phuket's main city district, photo by The Phuket Express.

Phuket is seeing a jump in its vegetable prices as the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival is coming up on September 26. The prices of many vegetables have shot up on average from five to 20 baht per kilogram. The prices on other vegetarian ingredients have bumped up as well.

Vegetable prices usually increase in Phuket before and during the festival each year, as high demand coincides with fewer supplies.

But vegetable vendors noted that there were a few different reasons for the price surge. One vegetable seller at the Public Market 2 in Phuket Town told The Phuket Express that the prices had gone up because many vegetable plantations in central Thailand have been flooded.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is known for its Ma Song. These spiritual devotees will self-mutilate, and slice their cheeks and tongues with swords, knives, and spikes. They will then march for hours, the intention being that through their pain they can achieve a holy and spiritual state. The Ma Song have helpers who follow them along to clean up their blood and pat them down with towels so that they don’t catch on fire from the many fireworks being thrown.

This year, the festival will be held from September 26 to October 4. The festival’s street processions will begin on September 27 at the Koor Su Gong Naka Shrine in Wichit. They will be held every day of the festival until October 4.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects the festival to rake in a lot of cash. The director of TAT’s Phuket office says tourists are expected to spend about 3.4 billion baht on the island province during the festival.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.