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Vegetarian Festival Bangkok 2017 – Tesagan Gin Je Festival Thailand
October 20, 2017 - October 28, 2017Free
‘The origins of the Vegetarian Festival are Chinese, a celebration to the nine Emperor Gods, and the festival happens during the ninth Chinese lunar month every year. Although it is called the vegetarian festival, the diet is strictly vegan, as the requirements include giving up all fish, dairy, meat and poultry for nine days as a way to cleanse your body. Rules also state that you should wear white from head to toe, but this is not as widely practiced outside temples. Phuket is often seen as the centre of Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival, as over 30 percent of the population have Chinese ancestry. Rituals during the height of the festival include tongue slashing and other gory rituals. Bangkok celebrations might seem a little subdued compared to that, but still very much worth a visit.’ (Source: bangkok.com)
Chinatown is the gathering point for the festivities. You will find rows of temporary stalls selling a wide variety of dishes from sweet cakes to noodle soups. The best time to come is early evening, around 17:00. Yellow and red flags signal a shop or stall is selling food in line with the festival regulationsare displayed above Yarrowat Road. You will also see stickers and signs in shops across the city, from 7-11 to large shopping malls like Central World.
One of the best places to visit is Soi 20 of Charoen Krung Road, an area usually reserved for shophouses selling car parts. During the festival it becomes a hub for events. If you walk past the food stalls and fruit sellers, you will come across and Chinese temple where you can quietly observe people making merit, surrounded by candles and incense. Lanterns hang from the ceiling and it’s a good reminder that this is first and foremost a religious event. Don’t stop there though, continue down in the direction of the river and you will find a stage, where every night a Chinese Opera is performed as thanks to the Gods. With painted faces and beautiful costumes, it is definitely a highlight of the event. The performances start between 18:00 and 19:00 every night during the festival. (Source: bangkok.com)