“Magic rice” sizzled in the pan for thousands as the Pattaya Vegetarian Festival began its run through Oct. 10.
Former Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome, city, provincial and tourism officials, former MPs and executives from the Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation celebrated the opening of the festival with a twin-headed parade and vegan meal Sept. 30.
The annual procession consisting of “Kiew Huang Huk Jow” (the nine deities who are the spiritual mascots of the festival) and “Bhodisttava” (also known as Chow Mae Kuan Im, the goddess of mercy, compassion & healing) kicked off at Bali Hai Pier and ran up Walking Street.
The parade group then split, with half following Beach Road to Central Road and turning right. The second branch traveled along Second Road, stopping for a dragon show, then met the first group at Central Road. Reunited, the groups moved to Third Road and then jumped on buses to go to the Sawang Boriboon headquarters.
By then, the marchers were hungry and chefs were preparing the “magic rice” meal.
Acting Mayor Chanapong Sriviset said Pattaya’s vegetarian festival is held yearly and has attracted more fans each year.
Sattahip’s equivalent vegetarian festival also got under way Sept. 30 with Mayor Narong Bunbancherdsri, who also heads the Sawang Rojthammasathan Foundation, presiding over the festivities.
The streets were filled with local residents as well as foreign tourists as the large parade made its way through the Sattahip Market community.