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Thread: Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2011

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    Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2011

    A colourful event held over a nine day period in late September/early October, this celebrates the Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.

    Though the origins of the festival are unclear, it is thought that perhaps the festival was bought to Phuket by a wandering Chinese opera group who fell ill with malaria while performing on the island.

    They decided to adhere to a strict vegetarian diet and pray to the Nine Emperor Gods who would ensure purification of the mind and body. On recovery, the people celebrated by holding a festival that was meant to honour the gods as well as express the people's happiness at surviving what was, in the nineteenth century, a fatal illness.


    Date: September 27 – October 5, 2011 at Chinese Shrines on the Island

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    The Phuket Provincial Internal Trade Office (PITO) has announced that the flooding crisis in the northern and central parts of Thailand would not have a major impact on vegetable and fruit prices during the annual festival, which starts on September 27 and runs through October 5 this year.

    Despite this assurance, increase produce prices by 5 baht to 10 baht/kilo, saying demand always drives prices up during the festival.

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    The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is keeping a close watch on vegetarian food shops throughout the capital to ensure food safety during the vegetarian festival.

    The BMA’s 50 district offices have dispatched officials to Bangkok vegetarian food shops to carry out random tests in search for contaminated products. The tests have so far found no contaminated food.

    The BMA has also suggested vegetarians to choose to buy only freshly-cooked food for their own safety.

    Meanwhile, police on Monday searched a vegetarian food manufacturer in Chom Thong district and seized items suspected of being contaminated with meat for lab tests.

    The search came after the Vegetarian Club of Thailand filed complaints that the food manufacturer in question might have mixed meat in its products.

    News from NNT

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    The fever of the Vegetarian festival has reached Phuket where tourists and locals packed the markets.

    The ‘Ing-Keng’ ritual is part of the vibrancy of the vegetarian festival that had put people of Phuket on a high note. Parades and festivities were in the limelight as merit making was on the agenda. Along the streets in town, local temples and markets, vegetarians pack the scene with ceremonial activities and tributes to the festival.

    In the province of Trang, Governor Maitri Intusut held a fire cracker function in front of a local Chinese temple as part of the festivities and commemoration to the meaning of the Vegetarian festival. According to Trang Association of Domestic Travel, the number of travelers joining the Vegetarian ceremony had doubled from last year’s figure.

    The joining of international visitors with local Chinese Thais to celebrate to occasion by far made the Vegetarian festival this year incomparable.

    News from NNT

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