1,999 sea creatures, krathong released at Sattahip vegetarian festival

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Thai-Chinese residents of Sattahip celebrated the end of their annual vegetarian festival with the release of 1,999 sea creatures and blessings from nine local monks.

Former Mayor Narong Bunbancherdsri, now the head of the Sawang Boriboon Rojthummasathan Foundation, presided over the closing ceremonies, as attendees dressed in while released turtles, eels, and clams into the sea Oct. 22.

Hundreds of vegetarians release vegetable krathongs as part of the vegetable festival in Sattahip. Hundreds of vegetarians release vegetable krathongs as part of the vegetable festival in Sattahip.

Animals such as turtles are believed by the Chinese to bring prosperity and are a favorite pick to be honored at the vegetarian festival, which ended Oct. 24.

Hundreds of vegetarians also marked an early Loy Krathong holiday by releasing their own vegetable krathongs. As part of the ceremony, blessings were given by nine local monks.

Thai-Chinese Buddhists celebrate vegetarian festivals the ninth lunar month of every year. While many Buddhists believe the “nine precepts” forbid eating after midday, others take the teaching to prescribe not eating meat as part of Buddhist lent. During the festival, the red Chinese letters stating “no meat” are written on yellow flags hoisted at vegetarian stalls.

Residents of Sattahip celebrate the end of their annual vegetarian festival with the release of 1,999 sea creatures. Residents of Sattahip celebrate the end of their annual vegetarian festival with the release of 1,999 sea creatures.