Thailand's vegetarian festival

The annual Thai Vegetarian Festival is now drawing to a close. This year in Pattaya it ran from the 7th- 17th October, but as it's a lunar celebration (held during the 9th lunar month of the Chinse calendar) the dates are different each year.

The festival is celebrated by Chinese communities throughout Thailand, although most of the attention is generally focused on Phuket with it's colourful parades and the vegetarian devotees, known as "Ma Song", who perform various feats of courage, such as walking on hot coals or piercing their skin with knives and other sharp objects.

Check out these guys........they are all 100% genuine and haven't been edited on photoshop!!!


Fortunately, we have not been carrying out any ritual acts of self-mutilation!! And the knitting needles were kept well away from my crown jewels, just in case the missus had any unusual urges!!!

We observed a vegan diet for the duration of the festival, that's right folks....no milk in my tea, no bacon sandwiches, no beer and that KFC had to wait too!!! But by eating only vegan food we got plenty of spiritual merit and good karma.......apparently!!!

The act of eating vegetarian is known as "kin Jay" and those who choose to strictly observe the tradition will dress in white and eat only vegetarian or vegan food. This is to cleanse themselves and bring good fortune to their households. Although it began life as solely a Chinese practice, a lot of non-Chinese Thai's now also choose to practice "kin jay".

I would like to report that I'm still alive and thankfully I haven't wasted away. Most of the food was actually very nice....not just tofu and nut roasts....which is what I associated with veganism in the UK!!!!

But....I have to admitt that I'm looking forward to an ice cold bottle of larger!!

If you're interested in learning more, the following websites provide lots of useful information about the celebrations.....

http://www.enjoythaifood.com/vegetarian-festival/index.php

http://www.phuketvegetarian.com/

http://thailand.prd.go.th/view_around_thailand.php?id=5269

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