Explore the shocking Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand and let yourself be amazed of what people can do to their bodies in order to celebrate the annual Thai Vegetarian Festival. Please note that the images in the article can have a strong impact, not to mention attending the festival in person.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand is a very exciting and shocking event (for tourist, mostly) which is held every year for a nine-day period, in October, during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.
The festival is about celebrating the Chinese community’s belief that abstinence from meat will give people good health and piece of mind. Many legends lie behind the origins of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, but the most common story is that a wandering Chinese opera group, who got malaria, brought the festival to Thailand while they were performing in this country.
People at the festival celebrate and pray to the Nine Emperor Gods in order to ensure purification of mind and body, and this is where it gets pretty shocking. Eating strictly vegetarian food is not enough for some people and so they take things to the next level.
By piercing their bodies, walking on hot coal and by cutting their cheeks and inserting a large variety of objects, from swords to guns, and from wooden sticks to fruit, people attending the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival will do anything to impress their gods and to purify their bodies.
The commitments undertaken by each participant at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival are very strict, but people respect them without questions.
- Cleanliness of the body during the festival
- Cleaning the kitchen utensils which are not to be used by others who do not participate in the festival
- Wear white during the festival
- Behave correctly, both physically and mentally
- Avoid eating meat
- Avoid sex
- Avoid alcohol
- People in mourning should not participate
- Pregnant women and menstruating women should not attend ceremonies