BANGKOK’S Chinatown was festooned with yellow flags and banners on the eve of the Vegetarian Festival which is starting tomorrow, October 8, 2018 and lasts till October 17, with lots of people shopping for vegetarian food on sale at every nook and cranny, Sanook.com reported.
Businessmen and vendors in Yaowaraj area told reporters that the price of vegetables has gone by around 5 to 10 baht a kilogram, but that of other essentials, such as spices, tofu and faux meat, is staying stable.
Also making Thais of Chinese ancestry happy is that the price of cooked vegetarian food is no higher than during last year’s festival at 40 to 50 baht a serving, which led to brisk trade in a lively atmosphere.
According to Wikipedia, the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, and is primarily observed in Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by the local Chinese communities.
In Thailand, this festival is called thetsakan kin che, the Vegetarian Festival. It is celebrated throughout the entire country, but the festivities are at their height in Phuket, where about 35% of the population is Thai Chinese. It attracts crowds of spectators because some unusual religious rituals are performed, particularly ritualized mutilation by religious devotees.
Top: Thai Chinese shopping for vegetarian fare in Chinatown today. Photo: Sanook.com