DATA: 08-17 October 2018
PLACE: Phuket, Thailand
In the distant 1825, a group of Chinese theatrical actors, was called in the most recondite areas of Thailand, for some representations addressed to Chinese miners. According to legend, the whole company was struck by a mysterious illness (probably malaria), because it was said that it had not honored the nine Gods of Taoism in the right way. To defeat the disease, he was given a vegetarian diet to honor the two deities Kiew Ong Tai e Yok Ong Sone: after only one week, the disease was completely eradicated!
One of the most incredible festivals in the world originates from this legend: the Phuket Vegetarian Festival! It is precisely in remembrance of that miraculous healing that the conviction has grown that the body, thanks to a vegetarian / vegan diet, can rise up to a sort of intimate connection with the higher spirits.
The event takes place during the ninth Chinese lunar month (October) and is believed that all those who attend the various rites of the Festival, get lucky. During the ten days of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, hundreds of thousands of devotees gather along the streets of the island performing every ritual and various ceremonies, both along the streets, and inside the sanctuaries.
The ultimate goal of each is to achieve purification. There are truly incredible rituals, many of which involve self-torture to shift the evil from other individuals to themselves and to ensure fortune for the whole community. In this way, you will be able to see the faithful in a sort of real trance, walk on the hot coals, climb up stairs full of blades or even bathe in boiling oil!
If this should seem short, do not despair: the rite of drilling by ascetics is, of course, the most widespread. Cheeks, and every part of the body, pierced by needles, pins, knives, blades and even shotguns; feet pierced by glasses or burning parts, and more.
Photo, 2011 Joseph Ferris III
HOW TO GET
Few doubts about the fact that the plane is the most convenient way to reach your destination. Bangkok is generally the main airport for international flights. Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia, is also an excellent starting point.
Tourists can also participate in the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. However, everyone has OBLIGATION to respect some basic rules: dressing in white; do not eat meat, do not consume alcohol and no sex for the duration of the festival, because they corrupt the spirit and the body; cleaning and personal hygiene and all the tools used. Also, women with the cycle can not take part in an interesting state and all the bereaved.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an opportunity to discover a unique ceremonial all over the world and, of course, an absolutely wonderful place like Thailand.