2021 Phuket Vegetarian Festival Calendar



that of Phuket Vegetarian party, also known as the festival of the nine emperor gods, has arrived. Spread over 10 days from October 5 to 15, the festival is iconic for those who love exotic and very, very unique cultural events.

It is a commemoration that invites ancient Chinese spirits to descend from the sky to witness nearly 8 days of fire walking, loud street processions and an abundance of fireworks. But, the shocking piercings, using large objects protruding through the cheeks of the marching march chants, are perhaps the most famous sight of the festival.

Besides the annual rituals, the name of the festival introduces a week of abstinence from eating meat, dairy products, alcohol, and indulging in another “pleasure of the flesh” for the large Thai-Chinese population of the island. So if you are looking for vegetarian or vegan food this is definitely the place to go. The streets of Phuket Town are full of stalls serving vegetarian food, making it a mecca for herbivores. It is also the week, every year, when festival organizers complain that the markets inflate the price of vegetables. Sure.

Vegetarian party 2021

October 5 (Tuesday):

The festival kicks off in the afternoon with lantern poles erected at all participating shrines. This is when it is said that the emperor gods descend from the poles in the shrines at midnight.

October 6 (Wednesday):

There are no big events on this day as it is the first full day of the festival. But, you can see the various food stalls and other processions getting ready for the main events.

October 7 (Thursday):

The first street starts today and starts at Naka Shrine, located next to the weekend market. With all the processions starting around 7 a.m. or earlier and passing through Old Phuket Town, you’ll want to get up early to see the festivities. Most processions end either at Sapan Hin or at their original shrines.

October 8 (Friday):

Starting early at 7 a.m., the street procession begins at Sapam Shrine, which is a few kilometers north of Phuket Town. But, if you want to see the exotic piercings, you can arrive at one of the participating shrines before 7am.

And, for safety, it is advisable to arrive at 6 am to see the piercings. During the evening, another procession will start around 7 p.m. around the village of Kathu for the gods of birth and death (Lam Tao and Pak Tao). This procession is quite noisy! Other shrines also feature processions at the same time. The Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket Town is also said to host a large procession.

Vegetarian festival phuket büsser - free photo on pixabay

Exotic piercings at the vegetarian festival

October 9 (Saturday):

The morning procession begins at the Sam Kong shrine. From there it goes north to town which is not too far from the large Lotus grocery store. Then it passes the Bangkok-Phuket Hospital and crosses the old part of Phuket Town. The procession starts from the shrine in the north of the city (not far from the Tesco Lotus department store), passes the Bangkok-Phuket Hospital and passes through the old part of Phuket Town. This area is also great for finding amazing food with stalls lining the streets for around half a mile.

October 10 (Sunday):

A procession begins early in the morning from Tha Ruea Shrine, located in the center of Phuket Island in the Thalang region. As Thalang was the main town of Phuket several hundred years ago, it is home to several historic temples. The annual heroines festival started here, before the vegetarian festival a few decades ago.

October 11 (Monday):

This day has a lot to do with kicking off the morning with another procession through Phuket Town to Bang Neow Shrine. The shrine is located at the southern end of town on Phuket Road and is one of the most important places to participate in the festival. Visitors can normally expect large crowds in this area, but due to Covid-19 it may be reduced.

Another procession, although smaller, starts from the Cherng Talay Shrine, located in the Thalang district of the Cherng Talay region. This one is good to see if you reside around Kamala, Bang Tao or Surin beaches. At night, the fire walk starts at 8 p.m. in many places. Sapam, Sapan Hin, Sui Boon Tong, and Tha Reua shrines all have fire march participants.

2021 Phuket Vegetarian Festival Calendar |  Thaiger News

Vegetarian party 2021

October 12 (Tuesday):

Jui Tui Shrine (considered the largest shrine in Phuket Town) begins the morning processions, drawing large crowds. And, if you don’t want to join such crowds, you can find the procession route quite easily by following the people or the small shrines that are set up outside the homes of the locals.

Later in the day, various shrines host events, including climbing bladed ladders at Sam Kong and Bang Neow shrines, and nail bridges at Sapam shrine.

October 13 (Wednesday):

The Kathu Shrine begins the morning procession through the streets towards Phuket Town. This is a particularly long walk 10 kilometers long and ending in Sapan Hin. It’s best, again, to arrive around 6 a.m. or earlier to see the piercings and other mysterious acts.

October 14 (Thursday):

It is the last full day of the festival when Sui Boon Tong Shrine kicks off the morning procession. Later, the fire marching at Kathu Shrine can be seen with large crowds. The evening marks the last full day with a huge procession around Phuket Town, with people carrying statues of the gods in Sapan Hin.

The shrines also feature a “crossing the bridge for purification” ceremony in which everyone wears white clothing. The nightly festivities are more like a war zone, as millions of firecrackers and fireworks are set off, which is a clear sign that you will at least need to bring some earplugs.

A mask would also help with the volume of smoke produced by the fireworks. And it’s a really good idea to wear long clothes and sneakers because flip flops won’t protect your feet from burns.

October 15 (Friday):

This day is quieter with 5 p.m. marking the end of the Vegetarian Festival. Lantern poles or Go Teng poles are lowered at shrines, marking the end of the annual festival. And, after the delicious food, the early mornings and the insane amounts of firecrackers and crowds, Phuket returns to its normal state.

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