Phuket Vegetarian Festival to hold mass prayers for late King
The Phuket Vegetarian festival this year will include a mass prayer in Phuket Town to honour the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong announced yesterday.
Gov Norraphat revealed the news at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall held to announce – again – that this year’s Phuket Vegetarian festival will be held on October 20-28. Gov Norraphat initially announced the dates for this year’s fetsival on July 11.
Joining the meeting was Phuket Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung along with the heads of local government offices and representatives from Phuket Shrines Association.
V/Gov Prakob, who previously served as Inspector of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning in Bangkok, has now arrived on the island to take up the post of Phuket Vice Governor, to replace Siwaporn Chuasawad, who has been transferred to the post of Vice Governor of Samut Prakan Province, on the outskirts of Bangkok.
“This festival is one of Phuket’s oldest festivals,” Gov Norraphat said. “The festival aims to preserve cultural heritage and pass on traditions down to the next generation, and has done so for more than 100 years.”
This year, the traditional lantern-pole raising ritual to allow the Chinese gods to descend from heaven, marking the start of the festival, will take place at participating shrines on Oct 19, Gov Norraphat said.
“Mass prayer ceremonies to commemorate the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be held on the second day of the festival, on Oct 21, at Sanam Chai playing field in Phuket Town,” he added. (See map below.)
The annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival is held over nine days usually in October. The event celebrates the beliefs of the Chinese community in Phuket that abstinence from meat, alcohol, sex and stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar honours the gods and will deliver devotees good health and an elevated state of spirituality.
The famous street processions held as part of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival this year will be held on one day only of the nine-day festival in respect of the Royal Funeral for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Also, all people taking part in this year’s Phuket Vegetarian Festival have been asked to refrain from throwing firecrackers and to tone done the face piercings in order to be respectful of the Royal Funeral of the late King Bhumibol.