The 2022 Phuket Vegetarian Pageant (aka 9 Emperor Gods Pageant) is happening from 25 September – 5 October 2022. The dates change yearly, because it’s based mostly on the Chinese language lunar calendar. In 2021 the competition was 5 – 15 October. It all the time has been my favorite Phuket occasion / competition and I all the time used to take too many photographs! I bought my “good” digital camera some time again, and for a couple of years used a mixture of an previous (however OK) Lumix combined with iPhone photographs! In 2017 a lot of the principal occasions and processions have been cancelled on account of King Bhumibol’s funeral happening the identical week. In 2018 I missed the competition on account of holidays, and from 2019 I’ve been again within the UK so missed it! Disgrace! In 2020 it passed off regardless of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, and once more in 2021 the occasions have been affected – much less folks, processions in autos moderately than on foot and no / minimal face piercing.
There’s a lot to this competition, it took me a couple of years to grasp, and there are nonetheless components of the competition I’ve not seen a lot – I’ve solely attended one firewalking occasion and it was so crowded that I did not get nice photographs. And till 2014 I had not skilled the loopy last evening procession in Phuket City – I’ve now been a couple of occasions and that last evening is totally insane! A lot of the occasions occur far-off from the principle vacationer seashore areas, largely in and round Phuket City or on the varied Chinese language shrines across the island. In case you are in Phuket in the course of the competition, I do suggest that you just attempt to see one thing!
I’ve written a LOT in regards to the vegetarian competition on the Phuket weblog previously and there are tons of of photographs on the weblog and my Flickr picture account. For extra details about Phuket’s most original and weird competition begin at:
Earlier Vegetarian Pageant Weblog Posts
Phuket Vegetarian Pageant 2022
Schedule – twenty fifth September to fifth October 2022
The beginning of the 2022 competition is Sunday twenty fifth September within the late afternoon when the “lantern poles” are raised in any respect the collaborating shrines. The Emperor Gods are stated to descend down the poles into the shrines at midnight. I usually attend Kathu shrine (my native) and took plenty of photographs of this opening ceremony a couple of years in the past – see right here: Pole Elevating and Midnight Ceremony.
Not an excessive amount of occurs for the following couple of days, however the Chinese language shrines are all the time attention-grabbing to go to any night or any time in the course of the competition actually. The primary huge avenue procession might be on twenty seventh September – There was no procession on at the present time, however a couple of years in the past the small “Naka” shrine joined as a newcomer within the competition and would be the first to have a procession. All the principle avenue processions move by the previous Phuket city space, all of them begin early (round 7am or earlier), all end both at Sapan Hin (south finish of city) or again at their dwelling shrines if the shrine is in or close to Phuket City. There are additionally smaller native processions in some areas of Phuket like Kata, Chalong, Surin.
Sunday September twenty fifth
In any respect the Chinese language shrines, someday between 4 – 6pm – elevating of the Go Teng pole. Occasions on the shrines will go on all night. The lanterns are hung from the pole at midnight, signifying the beginning of the competition. There might be loads of firecrackers and fireworks too. I’ve been to Kathu shrine simply earlier than midnight anticipating some weird ceremonies, however it was way more hushed and reverential and sort of spooky. Didn’t depart the shrine till 1am and folks have been nonetheless gathered there saying prayers.
twenty sixth September – there aren’t any huge occasions on the primary full day of the competition – the primary avenue procession is from Naka shrine on September twenty seventh, however folks can go to any shrine at any time, and the Jae (เจ) meals is to be discovered everywhere in the island however largely across the shrines and particularly in Phuket City. The competition has many features and the meals is one a part of it. I usually attempt to follow the strict weight loss plan in the course of the competition. No meat, no alcohol. Not simply “no meat” – it is vegan, so no dairy both and the meals is specifically ready with clear utensils and sure different elements like garlic and onions usually are not allowed as a result of sturdy flavour. Don’t be concerned if you’re not vegetarian, virtually all eating places are open as regular in vacationer areas. The truth is, it may be exhausting to search out the particular competition meals close to the seashores.
Tuesday September twenty seventh
Road procession into Phuket City from Naka Shrine, positioned subsequent to the weekend market simply exterior Phuket City. This shrine is a newcomer to the competition and has solely been doing processions for a couple of years. I visited in 2014 and it was fairly crowded with “professional” photographers trying to get their first photographs of the competition. Some photographs right here.
Wednesday September twenty eighth
Road procession beginning 7am for Sapam Shrine – this shrine is a couple of km north of Phuket City (a few 10km stroll from the shrine to Sapan Hin). To see piercing happening at any shrine it’s a must to be there earlier than 7am. Strive 6am. Within the night, round 7pm (higher get there earlier), there might be one other procession round Kathu village for the Beginning and Dying Gods (Lam Tao and Pak Tao). I’ve been within the village fairly a couple of occasions for this very noisy procession! An analogous procession additionally takes place at a number of different shrines on the identical night. I imagine there’s a very huge one at Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket City.
Beneath – Beginning / Dying Gods Procession at Kathu Shrine
Thursday September twenty ninth
At this time’s huge avenue procession is from Sam Kong Shrine. Procession goes from the shrine within the north of city (not removed from the large Tesco Lotus retailer), previous the Bangkok-Phuket Hospital and thru the previous part of Phuket city. The shrine just isn’t removed from my home and I discover that they’ve some fairly gory face piercing! The Sam Kong space can also be a great space for meals looking in the course of the competition although parking is a b*tch, there are stalls all alongside the road right here for half a kilometer. It is a good one to attend early within the morning.
Friday September thirtieth
The road procession right now is from Tha Ruea shrine which is within the Thalang space of Phuket within the heart of the island – this was the principle city in Phuket a few hundred years in the past and there are a number of historic temples within the space and the annual Heroines Pageant celebrating an vital date within the historical past of Phuket – the Heroines story predates the Vegetarian Pageant by a number of a long time.
Saturday October 1st
A lot of issues happening right now… Within the morning (7am), an enormous avenue procession in Phuket City for the Bang Neow Shrine, which is within the south of the city on Phuket Street, one of many largest and most vital shrines collaborating within the competition. Count on very huge crowds on the town on at the present time. I’ve been on the town many occasions for the Bang Neow procession, however haven’t tried to get into the temple as a result of variety of folks. There’s additionally a smaller procession beginning 7am from Cherng Talay Shrine which takes place in Thalang district within the Cherng Talay space. A superb one to see in case your resort is in Kamala, Surin or Bang Tao seashores and you do not need to head all the way in which to city.
Additionally on this date there needs to be Fireplace Strolling at a number of places together with Sapam Shrine, Sapan Hin (individuals from Jui Tui shrine), Baan Tha Reua Shrine and Sui Boon Tong shrine (simply west of the market and never removed from Jui Tui shrine in Phuket City). Fireplace strolling kicks off round 8pm. Perhaps I will attempt to get some firewalking photographs once more this yr.
Beneath – Phuket City Procession Images – Phuket Vegetarian Pageant
Sunday October 2nd
Road procession beginning at Jui Tui shrine, which might be the largest shrine in Phuket city – simply west of the principle market. I went to see the procession a few occasions – it was very crowded however I acquired plenty of photographs! It’s exhausting to get into the shrine early morning, higher to discover a spot simply exterior or alongside the procession route – the route is all the time straightforward to search out – simply observe the folks and the little shrines that folks arrange exterior their homes – which means the procession is coming this manner! The world round Jui Tui and alongside the road from the market is all the time busy and lined with meals stalls throughout the whole competition.
Later within the day, there are many occasions on the schedule at varied shrines together with bladed ladder climbing at Sam Kong and Bang Neow shrines and “nail bridge crossing” at Sapam Shrine. Unsure what that’s! We did go to observe bladed ladder climbing one time at Sam Kong, I didn’t take a digital camera because it was a bit wet exterior, the climate generally is a concern presently of yr, however normally not too dangerous and generally darn sizzling! The bladed ladder climbing didn’t appear too dramatic. Cannot say I noticed any bleeding toes!
Monday October third
Road procession from Kathu shrine to Phuket City. It is a lengthy stroll this one, about 10km from Kathu Shrine all the way in which to city, across the previous city and ending at Sapan Hin. Kathu is (was) my “native” shrine. The shrine is just a few mile from our previous home. I’ve been there early (6 – 6:30am) many occasions to observe piercing rituals. Ought to attempt to get there even earlier. 6:30am is a bit too late actually! I feel 5:30am could be higher. However exhausting work! Issues occur early within the morning which are mysterious. The piercing might freak folks out the primary time they see it. In case you are taking photographs do attempt to be respectful.
Beneath – Road Procession – Phuket Vegetarian Pageant
Later within the night on October third – hearth strolling at Bang Neow, Cherng Talay and Sam Kong shrines. Received to be value a glance!
Tuesday October 4th
The final full day of the vegetarian competition. There’s a avenue procession for Sui Boon Tong shrine on the town early within the morning which I attended for the primary time in 2016 and it is fairly a giant one, then occasions comparable to firewalking at Kathu shrine within the afternoon – I went one time and I did take some photographs, however the firewalking appears to attract very huge crowds. Perhaps include a stepladder to shoot photographs over everybody’s heads! Or a GoPro digital camera on a selfie stick may work!
Within the night/evening of the final day (4th October) there may be the HUGE procession round Phuket City, with folks carrying statues of the gods to Sapan Hin. Tens of millions of firecrackers and fireworks. It’s completely mad. Psychological. I went for the primary time in 2014. Once more in 2015 and 2016. There’s a lot smoke and so many firecrackers, it is advisable to put on lengthy trousers, a shirt with lengthy sleeves and one thing greater than flip flops otherwise you’ll get burnt toes! Have to put on a material or face masks over your face too, to keep away from an excessive amount of smoke inhalation! And earplugs could be a good suggestion. It is like a warzone. A good friend had a firecracker land in his pocket and soften his iPod! Learn extra @ Closing Evening of the Phuket Vegetarian Pageant.
Earlier within the night on the final evening there may be the “Bridge Crossing for Purification” ceremony on the shrines. We did this in 2011 and it was a night I loved very a lot. Everybody in white, plenty of smiles, no bloody faces, appeared like the entire village was there!
Beneath – Crossing the Bridge for Purification – Phuket Vegetarian Pageant
Beneath – Closing Evening in Phuket City – Phuket Vegetarian Pageant
Wednesday October fifth
At about 5pm the lantern poles (Go Teng poles) might be lowered on the shrines marking the very finish of the 2022 Phuket vegetarian competition. The complete dates once more to your calendar : 25 September to five October 2022. In case you are there, attempt to see one thing! Hoping I can perhaps be there subsequent yr!
The place are the shrines? Location Map – Chinese language Shrines in Phuket
View Phuket Vegetarian Pageant Chinese language Shrines in a bigger map