Vegetarian Festival 2023, formally known as Nine Emperor Gods Festival (เทศกาลกินเจ / 九皇勝會), will be held for 10 days from 14 – 23 October 2023, beginning from the eve to the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Widely celebrated all over Thailand, devotees will observe a vegetarian diet over this period as a form of body purification. The Taoist festival was brought into Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore by Chinese immigrants hundreds of years ago and has since been integrated into part of Thailand’s culture.
The festival is celebrated mostly in Bangkok’s Chinatown, Yaowarat. Preparations will start as early as one week before the event where yellow banners and flags will be placed prominently in the area. Religious rituals and activities revolve around the Kwang Tung Shine located just opposite one of the MRT station’s exits.
Shopping malls in Bangkok will hold food fairs throughout the festival, offering vegetarian and vegan dishes in a variety of international cuisines. One can find vegetarian food of various cuisines, ranging from Chinese, Thai, Western, to Halal at these major food fairs:
Religious and celebratory activities of the Jae Festival (as it is locally known) are the most intense in Phuket. To purify their souls, devotees participate in processions with piercings through their mouths and walk over hot coals, on top of keeping a vegetarian diet during this period. These activities are held in dozens of Taoist shrines in the city, and these are some of the popular ones:
Click here for the full list of shrines and the procession route.
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