Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most important events in Phuket each year. Held on the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar, it allows you to witness out-of-the-ordinary events and gathers Phuket’s Chinese community during nine exhilarating days.
Our Phuket Vegetarian Festival calendar of events is here to guide you through the dates and location of all of the important events – opening ceremonies, street processions in Phuket Town, fire walking, razor blade ladder climbing, closing ceremony - held during the festival at the major Chinese shrines on the island.
Please note that, at the time of writing, the dates listed below are approximate. The organisers behind the festival rarely release the exact schedule until shortly before it starts. We are confident that these dates are accurate, based on previous patterns, but we will update them when more details are available.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
Lantern Pole Raising - Monday October 8, 2018
The first major event of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is the Lantern Pole Raising Ceremony - Seng Ko Teng Thiao. The Lantern Pole is supposed to attract the 36,000 gods of the Chinese pantheon. All the shrines involved in the festival in Phuket will raise the Lantern Pole on October 8, 2018, between 15:00 and 17:45 for all shrines except for Sheng Leng Tong (which has their cermony at 07:09), with the exact time of the ceremony varying slightly for each.
On the same day, all shrines also have the Heavenly Warriors Releasing Ritual (Parng Kun) from 15:09 to 18:30 and the Jade Emperor God and the Nine Emperor Gods Invitation Ritual from 22:00 to 24:00.
Processions in Phuket Town
Tue 9 Oct: Sapam Shrine street procession from 07:00
Wed 10 Oct: Samkong Shrine street procession from 07:19
Thu 11 Oct: Ban Tha Rue Shrine street procession from 07:30
Fri 12 Oct: Bang Neow Shrine street procession from 07:00
Sat 13 Oct: Jui Tui Shrine street procession from 08:00
Sun 14 Oct: Kathu and Yokkekeng Shrines street procession from 07:00
Mon 15 Oct: Sui Boon Tong Shrine street procession from 07:00
Fire Walking Ceremonies
Thu 11 Oct: Jui Tui Shrine Fire Walking at Saphan Hin from 20:09
Thu 11 Oct: Fire Walking at Sui Boon Tong Shrine from 21:00
Thu 11 Oct: Fire Walking at Ban Tha Rua Shrine from 20:00
Thu 11 Oct: Fire Walking at Yokkekeng Shrine from 20:00
Thu 11 Oct: Fire Walking at Sapam Shrine from 21:00
Sat 13 Oct: Fire Walking at Bang Neow Shrine from 20:00
Sat 13 Oct: Fire Walking at Samkong Shrine from 20:00
Sat 13 Oct: Fire Walking at Cherng Talay Shrine from 20:09
Sun 14 Oct: Fire Walking at Kathu Shrine from 15:00
Other Notable Ceremonies
Fri 12 Oct: Bladed-ladder climbing at Bang Neow Shrine from 20:00
Fri 12 Oct: Bladed-ladder climbing at Samkong Shrine from 20:00
Fri 12 Oct: Oil bathing and tying children's wrist at Ban Tha Rua Shrine from 20:45
Fri 12 Oct: Bladed-ladder climbing at Cherng Talay Shrine from 19:59
Fri 12 Oct: Nail bridge crossing and oil bathing at Sapam Shrine from 20:00
Last Day of the Festival - Wednesday October 17, 2018
As the festival begins to near its end, all those who strictly followed the 10 rules of the festival (read them here) will cross the bridge of purification set at each shrine. They then will be 'rewarded' with a stamp on their shirt or T-shirt as proof of their commitment. The crossing of the bridge of purification is held between 18:00 and 20:00.
The last major ceremony of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is certainly the most impressive. Between 21:00 and 24:00, all shrines join a street procession in Phuket Town: the Nine Emperor Gods Farewell. Each shrine involved in the festival has an Emperor God. The latest procession aims to accompany them to Saphan Hin, from where they will leave Phuket.
Finally, on Thursday October 18, 2018, each shrine holds a relatively modest Lantern Pole Lowering ceremony, starting from 15:00 to 17:09.