Thailand 'Gin Jae' Vegetarian Festival Starts September, 28

News in Asia
Thailand 'Gin Jae' Vegetarian Festival Starts September, 28

The main vegetarian event of the year for Thailand – The Vegetarian Festival – will hit the country between September, 28 and October, 7. Called 'Tesagan Gin Jae', this festival is even more vegan than vegetarian. 

While the festival is celebrated across the country, the best places to expereince it are provinces with a high percentage of population of Chinese origin, in the first place Trang in the south or Nakhon Sawan in the lower north. In other provinces, look around for yellow flags and Chinese lamps that clearly indicate the venues participating in the activities.

Yaowarat Street in Bangkok's Chinatown fills up with street stalls selling all things vegetarian, and Talat Noi, on the edge of Chinatown, runs nightly Chinese opera performances and other festive activities.

But destination number 1 for the vegetarian festival in Thailand is definitely Phuket from where (supposedly) it all started back in the 19th century.

The most popular legend says that once a Chinese opera company travelled to Phuket. They came to entertain the community of Chinese miners working in the area. Unfortunately – and unexpectedly – the cast fell sick from an unknown illness. To recover, they followed a strict vegetarian diet and prayed to the Nine Emperor Gods. Then guess what? Yep, they all recovered. To celebrate this amazing recovery the annual festival has been held ever since to bring good luck to the community and its members. 

The most striking event of the Phuket vegetarian festival is festive processions with entranced devotees piercing their faces and cheeks with spires, spokes or long needles. Would you dare to visit?

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