Phuket Patong BeachBoat tour

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Patong Beach on Phuket Island in Thailand.

Connect Guesthouse
125/8 Rath U thit rd
Paradise Complex
(way out)
Patong Beach
Phuket - Thailand
Phone: 076-294195
Int: +6676294195
Fax: 076-340957
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Vegetarian Festival Phuket

18 - 26 October 2009.

Updated 11 october 2990
The Vegetarian Festival is Phuket's most important festival. It lasts for 9 days and takes place late September or October, based on the Chinese lunar calendar. The festival celebrates the beginning of "Taoist Lent" when devoted Chinese abstain from eating all meat and meat products. The Vegetarian festival involves various processions, temple offerings and cultural performances and culminates with walking on hot coal, climbing knife-blade ladders, self-piercing the skin and so on.

Everything started 1825 when the governor moved the island's principal town from Ta Reua in Thalang District to Get-Hoe in Kathu district. Kathu was then still covered by jungle and malaria fever was widespread. There was a mining industry in Kathu and Chinese miners. A travelling Chines theatre troupe came to Phuket to perform for the Chinese thin miners. Struck down by a mysterious epidemic, the entertainers decided they had fallen ill because they had failed to pay proper respects to the nine Emperors Gods of Taoism. They consequently adopted a strict vegetarian diet to propitiate their deities, namely Kiu Hong Tai Te and Youk Hong Ta Te, and were cured.
As penance they erected Chinese temples and held a vegetarian festival to ward off any residual bad luck. According to local legend the unorthodox remedy worked and the annual vegetarian festival has been held ever since.

The local villagers decided to follow suit, beginning on the first night of the ninth month and continuing until the ninth night. These nine days of self-denial were considered to be auspicious both for the devotee and the community in large. Such a diet, moreover, is good for both the body, endowing it with health and strength, and for the soul, as the devotee refrains from killing animals for food and from all other sins. The spirit thus becomes clearer, calmer and filled with loving kindness.

The original ten commitments for the festival:

1. Cleanliness of bodies during the festival
2. Clean kitchen utensils and to use them separately from other who do not join the festival
3. Wear white during the festival
4. Behave physically and mentally
5. No meat eating
6. No sex
7. No alcoholic drinks
8. People at mourning period should not attend the festival
9. Pregnant ladies should not watch any ritual
10. Ladies with period should not attend the ritual

Links to more information and schedule:

A Chinese temple in Phuket Town


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