The exciting Pattaya Vegetarian Festival is about to begin this weekend, running from October 14th to October 24th, 2023.
This festival, rooted in Taoism, revolves around honoring the Nine Emperor Gods. Locally known as ‘Jai Chai,’ meaning ‘Eat Vegetables,’ it’s believed that avoiding meat while praying can lead to a deep cleansing of the mind, body, and spirit. The festival typically falls in October, following the Chinese calendar’s waxing moon cycle. Apart from Phuket, Pattaya is one of the prime spots in Thailand to experience this event.
The Pattaya Vegetarian Festival is typically celebrated by Chinese immigrants who evacuated a long time ago to Thailand during the Ayutthaya period for thriving trade with countries like Portugal, Holland, and France.
These early Chinese settlers believed in protective deities for their communities, and this tradition has been passed down to Thai communities, lasting through the ages.
A significant part of the Vegetarian Festival includes impressive rituals and performances, featuring remarkable acts of self-discipline like walking on hot coals, climbing sharp ladders, and body piercings. Devout believers undertake these demonstrations to show their respect for their ancestors and deities.
The Pattaya Vegetarian Festival promises to offer a captivating cultural experience, blending ancient traditions with astonishing displays of faith and devotion. Regardless of religions and nationalities, everyone is invited to the event at most of the local rescue service foundations.
In Pattaya, the main event and market is at the Sawangboriboon Temple in Naklua, located near the major Lan Pho Naklua fish market and Lan Pho Public Park. It is located almost across the street from this area.