September 28 – October 8
The annual Pattaya Vegetarian Festival began this weekend at the Sein Sua Vegetarian Temple in Naklua. Hosted by the Sawangboriboon Thammasathan Foundation, the festival runs from Sept. 28 – Oct. 8.
The 10-day event began with a ceremony to invite Chinese gods to the party on kickoff day. The parade started at 12:29 p.m. and wound its way through Naklua and Pattaya, from Bali Hai Pier, South Pattaya, passing through Walking Street and turning right to Wat Chaimongkol, turning left onto Pattaya 2nd Road, going straight to Ha Lee Mao Junction, then turning right to go Pattaya 3rd Road Junction at TOT where the Pattaya section of the parade ends. From there, parade participants boarded a bus to Naklua, where the parade picked up again along Sawangfah Road to the Naklua T-junction, turning right to Lanpho Public Park, and turning left to the beach to participate in a ceremony to invite the Kew Aung Hook Jow (9 Gods of the Vegetarian Festival) and Bodhisattva to the Sawangboriboon Vegetarian Temple in Naklua.
On Sept. 29 more Emperor Gods’ ceremonies kick off at 7:19 a.m. while the Keng Ju Team will chant and perform an incense walk in the evening.
On Sept. 30 “Kee Yig Vegetarian Day” will see a respect ceremony in the morning and the Keng Ju chanting in the evening.
The following days will see more of the same, with the additional of ceremonies to spare animals and encourage exercise.
Friday 4 October, a ceremony to pay respect is performed in the morning. In the evening at 7.19 p.m., chanting ceremonies are conducted for exorcism and prolonging life. Walking with large incense is conducted.
Saturday 5 October a parade starts at 3.19 p.m., leaving from the Vegetarian Temple to perform the basket floating ceremony.
Sunday 6 October a ceremony to pay respect to stray souls (Pai Hor Hei Tee) begins at 12.29 (noon) at the front of the Vegetarian Temple. Chinese monks chant and burn clothes and paper offers to dedicate to people passing away and stray souls. At 8.39 p.m., committees perform a ceremony to burn apparel sets to dedicate to the Jade Emperor and gods (8 sets for each).
On Monday 7 October, a ceremony to pay respect is performed in the morning, followed at 12.19 (noon) by the Tay Kra Jad ceremony (giving charity) and at 2.29 p.m., committees burn apparel sets to dedicate to Kew Aung Hook Jow, Bodhisattva, and all gods. Later, at 8.39 p.m. the Sei Tee Ti Ju Hook ceremony bids farewell and says thank you to gods and Kew Aung Hook Jow. After, there will be auctions for lanterns, bamboo trees, and joss stick pots, “Gods”, and auspicious objects.
The festival ends with a parade on Tuesday 8 October, which starts at 6.19 a.m. from the Vegetarian Temple to the beach in front of the Bodhi tree to conduct a farewell ceremony for the Kew Aung Hook Jow (9 Gods of the Vegetarian Festival) and Bodhisattva. The parade returns to the Vegetarian Temple and all faithful attendants drink holy water for prosperity. The vegetarian festival officially ends after 12 noon.
For more information, call Sawangboriboon Thammasathan Foundation at 038 221 380, 038 222 380, 089 038 7799