Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival is coming up in a never-ending Travelife, and this year, it's being held from September 24 to October 2.
Also known as “Jia Chai”in Hokkien Chinese, this vegetarian festival began in 1825 when fever was rife and a traveling opera company from China grew sick from an unnamed malady.
I would so love to visit this year, but my schedule in just next for impossible over the next six weeks.
Scroll down to read more...
A VEGETARIAN DIET
TO COMBAT ILLNESS
However they kept to a vegetarian diet honouring two emperor gods, and the sickness miraculously disappeared.
After this, locals embraced the practice of vegetarianism enthusiastically and the festival has continued ever since – from the first to 9th evening of the 9th lunar month.
WHAT HAPPENS AT PHUKET'S
Throughout Phuket's vegetarian festival, fireworks and drums are sounded, especially during ceremonies. The locals believe that the louder the drums are, the better this is, because the noise drives away evil spirits.
This street festival is also famed for sacred rituals performed by entranced devotees. These include:
Walking barefoot over hot coals
Bathing in hot oil
Climbing bladed ladders
Bizarre body piercing
The locals also believe that these sacred rituals bestow good fortune upon those who religiously observe or partake in it.
ONLY VEGETABLES FOR 10 DAYS
Local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for spiritual cleansing and merit-making.
They also perform sacred rituals at various Chinese shrines, temples and street displays.
It is also a golden opportunity to savour Thai vegetarian and vegan cuisine at its finest.
A VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL STAY OFFER
FROM PARESA RESORT
In connection with this, the luxury Phuket resort Paresa is now offering a “Vegetarian Street Food Festival” package for two, allowing couples to explore all these tastes, smells and traditional rituals.
Available throughout the period of the Phuket vegetarian festival, the package includes accommodations and breakfast, as well as a guided tour of the festival in Phuket’s ‘Old Town.’
Paresa is also offering a vegetarian street-food cooking class and a visit to a colourful local market accompanied by Paresa’s chef to select ingredients with this package.
VEGETARIAN COOKING CLASSES
Paresa’s vegetarian street food cooking classes embrace two entire menus that guests can learn to cookand re-create at home. The dishes include:
Poh Pia Pak Tord
Deep-fried vegetarian spring rolls
Phad Thai Pack
Stir-fried noodles & bean sprouts
in a tamarind dressing.
* * *
Som Tum Jay
A spicy green papaya salad
Authentic crispy bananas
Khao Nhiao Mamuang
Sweet mango sticky rice
UNIQUE VEGETARIAN DISHES
AT PARESA'S DIAVOLO
Tod Man Khaopod
A deep fried curry corn cake
Yum Makuea Yaw
An eggplant salad
with mushroom and lime dressing
Guay Tiew Song Keung
A traditional fried noodle
with mixed vegetables
Bua Loy Sam Sri
A dessert of glutinous rice flour
He added: “I will never forget my first Vegetarian Festival in Phuket. Words cannot describe the atmosphere of exquisite food, music & dance. It's not for the faint-hearted but this festival is not to be missed and your view of vegetarian food will be changed forever.”