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  1. #1
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    Phuket Vegetarian festivities underway

    Phuket Vegetarian festivities underway


    PHUKET CITY: Thousands of people gathered at Chinese shrines around Phuket today to participate in pole-raising ceremonies before for the Vegetarian Festival, which starts in earnest tomorrow.

    Permanent Secretary for Interior Pongpayom Wasaputi joined the crowds dressed in white at Jui Tui shrine to place squares of gold leaf on the bamboo poles before they were raised at the auspicious time of 5.09 pm.

    The poles are said to join the physical and spiritual world, allowing the various spirits to descend to Phuket, where their presence will be evidenced by the 2,000-odd mah song, or “mediums”, during the festival.

    Traffic will be disrupted during the festival from October 11 to 19 due to road closures for processions and the many vegetarian food stalls lining the streets as part of the festivities.


  2. #2
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    Phuket Vegetarian festivities underway

    Vegetarian Festival in full swing


    PHUKET CITY: Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2007 is well underway, with Kuan Te Kun Shrine, locally known as Sapam Shrine, this morning conducting the first of the nine street processions that are among the festival’s major highlights.

    The Sapam Shrine procession started at 8 pm at Nakhon Rd, behind the Phuket City Police Station. Amidst the cacophony of firecrackers set off to drive away evil spirits, some 50 mah song (“entranced hoses” or spirit mediums) set off with their handlers on the way to Saphan Hin, the traditional end point or halfway point of all the Vegetarian Festival processions.

    Crowds of onlookers, including perplexed foreign tourists, lined the streets of Phuket City to catch a glimpse of the spectacle, especially the mah song.

    As in years previous, the mediums skewered their cheeks with a creative variety or implements including swords, sticks and even a long length of heavy-duty garden hose used to support a banner announcing the name Sapham Shrine.

    Clean-up crews from Phuket City Municipality did a good job following the procession and cleaning up all the paper fragments left behind from the thousands of exploded firecrackers.

    As in past years, Phuket City Police have warned residents that only traditional firecrackers in strips should be used in the processions.

    The next street procession starts at Lim Hu Tai Su Shrine (Samkong Shrine) on Yaowarat Rd about 7 am tomorrow.


  3. #3
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    Phuket vegetarian festival

    Over 1,000 mah song (“entranced horses” or spirit mediums) from Chinese shrines around the island joined together this morning to take part in the Jui Tui Chinese Shrine street procession to Saphan Hin. Today marked day seven of the nine-day festival, the island’s signature cultural event that has spread to many other parts of Thailand.


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    Phuket body piercings


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    Phuket vegetarian festival in Thailand


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