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Thai Vegetarian Festival in full swing

Chinese communities in Thailand honour the Taoist Nine Emperor Gods Festival with a traditional nine-day-long food festival

Quelle:: National Library Singapore

Yellow and red flags mark the food stalls and restaurants participating in the Vegetarian Food Festival, which started 
on 12 October
Yellow and red flags mark the food stalls and restaurants participating in the Vegetarian Food Festival, which started on 12 October

The festivities surrounding the Nine Emperor Gods Festival are in full swing in Thailand. The festival, which is celebrated by Chinese communities in Southeast Asia during the first nine days of the ninth lunar month, honors the nine emperor gods of Taoism. 

A woman praying in a temple in Thailand on the first day of The Nine Gods Emperor Festival, 12 October 2015
A woman praying in a temple in Thailand on the first day of The Nine Gods Emperor Festival, 12 October 2015
EPA

In Thailand, the biggest celebration associated with the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is the Vegetarian Festival. Despite the festival's name, all of the food offered by street stalls and restaurants during the nine days is vegan. Worshipers abstain from meat, fish, eggs and dairy products during the days of celebration to cleanse their minds and bodies. 

A food stall on the first day of the Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok on 04 October 2013
A food stall on the first day of the Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok on 04 October 2013
EPA

Other distinctive rituals taking place during the festival include dressing in white from head to toe, especially in the temples, fire walking and body piercing.

Devotees performing the fire walking ritual at Lam Thian Kiong Temple during The Nine Emperor Gods Festival
Devotees performing the fire walking ritual at Lam Thian Kiong Temple during The Nine Emperor Gods Festival
masuti / Shutterstock.com

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