Continues through October 8
The annual Pattaya Vegetarian Festival began this past week at the Sein Sua Vegetarian Temple in Naklua. Hosted by the Sawangboriboon Thammasathan Foundation, the festival continues until 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, then all the way to Naklua where marchers participated 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.
Throughout the week, more Emperor Gods’ ceremonies were held while the Keng Ju Team chanted and performed incense walk in the evenings. Booths and exhibits are open for the public.
During the week, participants are encouraged to eat only vegetables and vegetable products and eschew all meat, dairy and seafood, as well as refrain from killing any animals.
Today, Friday 4 October, a ceremony to pay respect is being performed in the morning. In the evening at 7.19 p.m., chanting ceremonies will be conducted for exorcism and prolonging life, followed by a procession of large incense.
On Saturday 5 October a parade starts at 3.19 p.m., leaving from the Vegetarian Temple to perform a 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 will chant and burn clothes and make paper offerings to dedicate to the deceased and to stray souls. At 8.39 p.m., committees will 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 will be performed in the morning, followed at 12.19 (noon) by the Tay Kra Jad ceremony (giving charity) and at 2.29 p.m., by committees burning more 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 where a farewell ceremony for the Kew Aung Hook Jow (9 Gods of the Vegetarian Festival) and Bodhisattva will be conducted. The parade returns to the Vegetarian Temple and all faithful attendants drink holy water for prosperity. The vegetarian festival officially ends after 12 noon.