During the month of September – October, Phuket will also be the setting for the world-famous Vegetarian Festival. Also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, the colorful event will take place between September 26th – October 4th and celebrates the Chinese community’s belief that abstaining from eating meat during the ninth lunar month will bring forth prosperity and good health. This belief is also shared by communities beyond just people who live on the island and therefore affects city-dwellers and villagers from all over the country.
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The festival itself sees individuals partaking in extreme practices like fire walking to honor the gods, which adds an element of shock and surprise to the event. However, in addition to the many street celebrations, the island also transforms into a vegetarian’s paradise with plenty of street vendors, popular stalls and restaurants choosing to alter their menu in order to offer seasonal specials that cater to the large number of people abstaining from meat.
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