The Pattaya Vegetarian Festival got underway with an invitation to the gods and the public to come and eat.
Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation President Wisit Chaowalit- nittithum kicked off the Oct. 8-18 festival with a parade and ceremony to invite “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) to reside at the foundation’s Naklua headquarters during the event.
Participants dressed in white paraded from the foundation to the Naklua New Market and Lan Po Public Park before returning to eat.
Free vegetarian meals were served three times a day through Oct. 18.
As usual, vegetable prices in Pattaya spiked, although traders blamed it on flooding upcountry that caused supply shortages, not the desire to gouge people during the annual festival. Even with higher prices, sales remained brisk.