Festivals and celebrations

Phuket vegetarian festival 2020 in Thailand

Phuket vegetarian festival is a magical time when a large part of the Thai population stops eating meat for nine days and nine nights.

Date of vegetarian festivals 2020

This festival takes place every year during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2020 – From Friday 16th till Sunday 25th October 2020.


The vegetarian festival is a particular time of year.

Thai people are invited to stop eating meat and sometimes impressive ceremonies, such as those in Phuket, are held in and around Chinese temples.

During this period, delicious vegetarian (and vegan) dishes at meager prices (sometimes free) are available in markets and even in shopping malls.

The festival is famous throughout Thailand, and especially in areas with large populations of Chinese immigrants, such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

During these ceremonies and mainly in Phuket, followers practice different forms of self-mutilation, walk on embers and pierce their bodies with various accessories.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 9Participants say it doesn’t hurt, but others shout at the time of their mutilation, which is prepared several months in advance and monitored by doctors.

Many Thais follow this vegetarian festival, even if they do not eat Thai vegetarian food during the rest of the year.

Even the Prime Minister (Prayut Chan-Ocha) encourages Thai people to practice vegetarianism during this period.

Some Thais also practice vegetarianism every Buddhist day (full moon).

Festival Végétarien de Phuket 8
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Festival Végétarien de Phuket 7
Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Origine of the Phuket vegetarian festival

The Feast of the Nine Emperor Gods is a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, which is practiced by Chinese communities in Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia.

Festival Végétarien de Phuket 6This celebration would have made itself known in Thailand in Phuket by a traveling Chinese opera troupe whose actors fell ill with malaria while performing on the island.

They then decided to follow a strict vegetarian diet and pray to the nine emperor gods to ensure the purification of the mind and body.

To everyone’s amazement, the opera company recovered completely.

As a result, the vegetarian festival has become a popular event practiced throughout most of Thailand.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 5

Follow the yellow and red flag

Vegetarian in ThailandDuring the festival, all restaurants and food stand that offer vegan dishes display a yellow and red flag with a kind of 17 written on it.

The 17 is the word Je: เจ, which indicates a vegan or vegan diet.

Veganism refers to an exclusively vegetable diet.

This diet, unlike the vegetarian diet, prohibits all consumption of milk and eggs as well as any other food of animal origin.

See: Vegetarianism in Thailand

The rules for participating in the Phuket vegetarian festival

Festival Végétarien de Phuket 4You can observe the ceremonies, or take the opportunity to stop eating meat for a few days and enjoy the many delicious vegetarian dishes on offer.

But if you want to participate fully in this festival, here are the ten rules to follow:

1 – Avoid eating any meat or harming animals.

2 – Refrain from any dairy products, butter, or oil of animal origin.

3 – Abstain from strong and flavored food, very spicy food, very salty food, sweet food, very sour food.

4 – Abstain from five strong-smelling vegetables: garlic, elephant garlic, onions, chives, tobacco leaves, and strong spices.

5 – Practice the following five precepts:
refrain from killing
abstain from flying
refrain from any sexual misconduct
refrain from false speeches
refrain from intoxicants causing carelessness

6 – Purify the mind

7 – Doing good deeds (good deeds), wearing white clothes

8 – Use different cooking utensils from the others, which are only used for the festival

9 – Avoid drinking alcohol

10 – Women who are menstruating should not attend rituals.

Festival Végétarien de Phuket 3Festival Végétarien de Phuket 2

Video about the Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Attention, the sensitive soul, abstain!

To see the important holidays of the year:
Holidays in Thailand, important dates in 2019

See also: Vegetarianism in Thailand

Source: learnthaiwithmod.com; phuket.com; Wikipedia: Photos of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival: Joseph Ferris III



Settled in Thailand since a few years (with trips to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia), I love this country and its inhabitants, the real country of Smiles! Sorry for any translation errors that may occur. Feel free to mention them in the comments, I will correct them. Thank you.

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