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No Meat, Sex or Alcohol for Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival Participants

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Participants of the Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival are to refrain from consuming meat, having sex and drinking alcohol in this period of spiritual cleansing. 

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BANGKOK – The Public Health Ministry has launched a campaign to educate people about healthy diet while taking part in the Vegetarian Festival. The Vegetarian Festival from September 28 to October 7.

Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai announced the campaign on safe vegetarian diet on Tuesday. Participants are to refrain from consuming meat, having sex and drinking alcohol in this period of spiritual cleansing.  Associated with Chinese traditions, spiritual ceremonies will be held at shrines out of the belief for health and good luck.

 

Dr Sukhum said he encouraged people to have vegetarian diet for health benefits but they should follow instructions.  The Ministry assured people that measures had been in place to monitor food contamination’s and ensure quality of vegetarian food, he said.

The Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, is celebrated throughout Thailand.

In some Chinese communities, devotees join street processions featuring extreme bodily impalement’s and other supernatural rituals. Shrines of Chinese deities will provide free vegetarian dishes to attendants with the sense of sharing and merit-making.

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, nine-emperor-gods-festival-celebrated-with-primarily in Southeast Asian countries.

2019 Phuket Vegetarian Festival will begin on Sunday,September 29th

In Phuket the Vegetarian Festival may be the largest activity in the country. People across Thailand and especially those of Chinese ancestry stick strictly to “Je” food for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making.

Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and predominantly in Phuket. Aesthetic displays such as walking barefooted over hot coals; tongue slashing and other ritualized mutilations are performed by devotees known as “Ma Song”.

Apart from the visual spectacle of this festival; visitors can partake in specially prepared vegetarian cuisine made available at street stalls; and markets around the island during this time.
The vegetarian dishes are not easily distinguished from regular dishes – soybean and protein substitute products are used to replace meat in standard Thai fare and look and taste uncannily like meat.
For more information on dates and events, please visit thethaiger.com.