Thailand | 14-23 Oct 2023
The Vegetarian Festival 2023, aka the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, runs for 10 days in the ninth month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. Celebrated across Thailand as a form of bodily and spiritual purification, the festival sees devotees observe a vegetarian diet throughout the 10 days. The Taoist festival was brought to Thailand by Chinese immigrants hundreds of years ago and has since been integrated into the local culture. Festival hotspots are Phuket, Trang, Krabi, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai. However, the biggest and most famous celebrations are in Bangkok’s Chinatown and Phuket, where devotees pierce their mouths with various objects and walk over hot coals to cleanse their souls. This truly bizarre scene is certainly not for the squeamish, but it makes the Phuket Vegetarian Festival unique. If you are in Thailand for October, look out for restaurants and food stalls with yellow flags and red writing that denote they are selling vegetarian food.