The Vegetarian Festival, also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, is an annual event held as a nine-day celebration that occurs in the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar which usually falls in between September and October. The festival is celebrated throughout Thailand by people both with and without Chinese ancestry, with the largest celebration taking place in Phuket and Bangkok.
During this period, people in Thailand who participated in the vegetarian festival are wearing white and are actively mindful of their thoughts and actions. They will abstain from eating every kind of meat to cleanse their body. Also, not allowing oneself to kill anything and must refrain from drinking alcohol, stealing, lying, and gambling during the nine-day celebration.
Mainly focus in the area of Bangkok Metropolis, Chinatown, where they usually have a special street food festival in Yaowarat area for the occasion, is one of the most famous place to go. Temples in Chinatown are decorated with candles, lanterns, and during incense. Most people will making a merit at the Mangkon Kamalawat Temple and the Cho Shi Kong Shrine.
Looking for the strings of yellow and red triangle-shaped flags that signal a shop or stall if selling food in line with the vegetarian festival regulation can be seen fluttering in the wind. You may find those restaurant and food stalls selling steaming noodles, vegetarian dumpling, spring rolls, and sweet desserts along with coconut milk. Most of dishes contain obvious meat substitutions such as tofu, mushrooms, and taro while others contain savory bites you’ll swear are the real deal.
The 2019 Vegetarian Festival or Tesagan Gin Jay in Thai, is happening from 28 September and lastly on 7 October. Mark your calendars and enjoy Vegetarian Festival in Bangkok!