Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2007 (Kin Jay)
One of the famous year event of Phuket Island [South of Thailand], is the Phuket Vegetarian Festival (or jia chai in local Hokkien Chinese dialect) during the period of October, 11 to 19, 2007. The ceremonial is during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.
Parade times to be announced, 12 - 18 October 2007October 12, 2007 : Sapam Shrine
October 13, 2007 : Samkong Shrine
October 14, 2007 : Ban Tha Rve Shrine
October 15, 2007 : Bang Neow Shrine, Cherng Thalay Shrine
October 16, 2007 : Jui Tui Shrine
October 17, 2007 : Kathu Shrine, Yokkekeng Shrine
October 18, 2007 : Sui Boon Tong Shrine
During the 10-day event, participants stick to a strict vegetarian diet which is believed to spiritually cleanse the soul of devotees. Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival dates back to 1825 when a touring opera company were struck down with illnesses and only cured of their maladies by a vegetarian diet. The festival has taken place every year ever since beginning on the first evening of the ninth lunar month and continuing until the ninth evening.
The vegetarian festival marks the start of a period of purification. Those involved come prepared after six days of abstention from meat, alcohol and sex. The stranger ceremonies date back to the mid-19th century when a traveling Chinese opera company fell gravely ill. Fearing that they had let down their Gods, the actors performed self-mutilator rites in an effort to cure themselves. It is also celebrated by devout Chinese all over the world, although the Phuket island's five temples are the most famous venues for the strange tradition.