The Vegetarian Festival originated in China, and is based on Chinese belief that seven Lord Buddhas and two bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) annually visit the world in the form of nine deities. They stay for nine days and nine nights in the ninth lunar month. In Southeast Asia, the Vegetarian Festival has become a tradition in Singapore, Malaysia,Indonesia and Thailand. This year, the festival will be celebrated from tomorrow until Oct 13. In the Central Region, tourists can visit several provinces where celebrations will take place. In Bangkok, a lot of festivities, such as vegetarian cooking and food fairs, will be held in Chinatown along Yaowarat Road from Saturday to Oct 13. Highlights will be parades decorated with flowers as well as a selection of a young woman to play Goddess Guan Yin in the procession. In Nakhon Sawan, there will be a parade around the city, as well as the sale of vegetarian food and other goods from Saturday to Oct 13. Another highlight is the wai chao kao sarn (worshipping nine Chinese shrines) tradition, which places from tomorrow until Oct 13 in Samut Sakhon. Participating shrines include the City Guardians Shrine by the Tha Chin River. Visitors will receive amulets depicting Goddess Guan Yin if their special ”passports” have been stamped at all the participating shines. Also, they will enjoy vegetarian food from more than 50 food stalls and restaurants. There will be exhibitions on sufficiency economy, the ties between Thailand and China, and the celebration of the festival in Asean countries, as well as Chinese-style tea brewing, painting and paper cutting.
From tomorrow until Oct 13, Chanthaburi province will celebrate the 126th anniversary of the festival at Wat Khet Na Boonyaram and Sawang Katanyu Dhamma Sathan Association in Muang district. In Krabi, about 40 Chinese shrines will hold processions of Buddha statues and provide vegetarian food for those coming to worship the statues at each shrine from tomorrow to Oct 13.