The Vegetarian Festival

September 27, 2011 Thailand 2 Comments 7,678 Views

Review Of The Annual Vegetarian Festival In Bangkok, Thailand.

The Vegetarian Festival is annualy celebrated in Thailand (as well as other Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar, Singapore & Malaysia) for nine days during the ninth month of the lunar calendar. The people who participate in this festival stop eating meat and other animal products during the duration. We were lucky to be in Thailand for this event.

It’s the celebration of the Chinese belief that if you abstain from meat & dairy products, you’ll enjoy good health and bliss. Since we’re in Bangkok at the moment, we had to travel to Chinatown (particular around Charoen Krung Road – here you’ll find heaps of little side streets to wander around) to see how the Chinese actually celebrate this festival.

How we found out about the Vegetarian Festival.

While stuck in traffic, our taxi driver told us that nearly every street in Bangkok’s Chinatown will come alive with yellow flags, starting on the 25th of September 2011. During the nine festival days, traffic will be really bad around the Chinatown area. He said that when you see one of these flags at a restaurant or food vendor, they will only offer a vegan menue. Well, this is not always the case … while we walked around the streets in Chinatown, we came across many little food stalls with yellow flags, yet still there was meat on display. I guess the thought counts.

History of the Vegetarian Festival.

So how come there is such a thing as a Vegeatian Festival Bangkok and how did it get here? It’s believed that a Chinese group fell ill during their visit to Bangkok. They then decided to follow a strict vegan diet. At the same time they prayed for the purification of the body & mind to the Nine Emperor Gods. Since then, the Chinese in Bangkok celebrate this festival annually. If you ask me, it’s a great one; not eating meat from time to time isn’t only healthy but even the hardest meat-eaters will realize how yummy veggies can be ;)

Walking along in Bangkok's Chinatown.
Walking along in Bangkok’s Chinatown.
Yellow banners at Charoen Krund Road in Bangkok.
Yellow banners at Charoen Krung Road in Bangkok.
A food vendor in Chinatown.
A food vendor (selling fried bananas) in Chinatown.
In the heart of Chinatown.
In the heart of Chinatown.
The yellow flag (usually) indicates a vegan food restuarant/vendor.
The yellow flag (usually) indicates a vegan food restuarant/vendor.
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2 Comments

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“Review Of The Annual Vegetarian Festival In Bangkok, Thailand.”

  1. Utuba

    Interesting article, didnt know that some chinese are vegans…

  2. Hi Utuba! Thanks for your comment. I don’t really think that they are vegans for life ;) I think it’s just for the duration of the festival…

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