Local Ritual from Shrines You Shouldn’t Miss This Veg Fest

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Phuket Vegetarian Festival is not only synonym of turning vegan for a week, it also offers some thrilling rituals from many different Chinese shrines across the island for you to discover. These rituals, performed by Ma Song, are believed to bring peace and serenity to the people joining the festival.



During the festival, the parade of Ma Song – angel mediums, who are often seen stabbing objects through their cheeks or slashing their tongues with knives as they believe this sacrifice will take away bad fortune, sickness and danger from those who take part in the festivities, starts from many shrines from every corner of Phuket. You can find the parades or locally called “Eiw Keng” based on this schedule. They usually start early in the morning:

October 2Joh Su Kong Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/TxgNBbxCSwp
October 3Sapam Shrine, also known as Kuan Tae Kun Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/BuVGpCdJE222
October 4Sam Kong Shrine, also known as Lim Hu Tai Su Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/ywUri32Bn7m
October 5Baan Tha Rua Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/VeiU2N4qA2U2
October 6Bang Niao Shrine (Tao Bo Gong)https://www.google.co.th/maps/@7.8747786,98.3914026,18.2z
October 7Jui Tui Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/7q95LtXeK382
October 8Kathu Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/fpvf7id5U7T2
October 9Loh Rong Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/qyLVrPK9gJ92



One of the world-famous part of vegetarian festival is the sacrifice ritual that all Ma Song do in order to take away bad things and bless people who join the vegetarian festival. The ritual is considered extremely dangerous and insane for normal people.



Bladed Ladder Climbing

This ritual basically let the Ma Song climb up a very tall ladder where each step is made of a very sharp blade set vertically. The supernatural part about this rite is that, the Ma Song won’t bleed at all. You can find blade ladder climbing on October 7-8 following this schedule:

October 78:00pmBang Niao Shrinehttps://www.google.co.th/maps/@7.8747786,98.3914026,18.2z
October 78:00pmSam Ong Hu Shrine in Cherng Talayhttps://goo.gl/maps/e2BRGFycGHy
October 78:45pmSam Pai Gong Shrine in Bang Ku
October 88:00pmJeng Ong Shrine in front of Vachira Hospitalhttps://goo.gl/maps/WUybiKFowH62


Fire Walking

Another famous ritual of the festival is where Ma Song walk through fire on burning coal. Seeing from far away, it looks like they are walking on lava or a floor from hell. This rite, as well as the bladed ladder climbing, attracts a thousand of local vegetarians and tourists every year. You can visit the shrines following this schedule:

October 68:00pmJeng Ong Shrine, in front of Vachira Hospitalhttps://goo.gl/maps/WUybiKFowH62
October 68:00pmJui Tui Shrine, at Sapanhin Parkhttps://goo.gl/maps/7q95LtXeK382
October 68:30pmBaan Ta Rua Shrine, nearby Heroines Monumenthttps://goo.gl/maps/VeiU2N4qA2U2
October 68:45pmYok Ke Geng Shrine in Soi Paniang, Phuket Townhttps://goo.gl/maps/mPUu9aY6jxj
October 68:45pmSapam Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/BuVGpCdJE222
October 69:00pmLoh Rong Shrine (Sui Bun Tong Shrine) in Phuket Townhttps://goo.gl/maps/qyLVrPK9gJ92
October 69:00pmTae Gun Shrine, nearby Chalong temple on Chaofa East Rd
October 69:00pmBaan Mai Khao Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/cCupTvSEnYu
October 78:45pmTai Huad Tong Shrine, nearby Surin Beach
October 79:00pmBu Seng Tong Shrine, in Baan Kian, Thepkasattri Rd, Thalang
October 82:00pmKim Sue Ong Tao Bo Keng in Baan Don, Cherngtalay, Thalanghttps://goo.gl/maps/ZpnJFbBq8ZN2
October 88:00pmBang Niao Shrinehttps://www.google.co.th/maps/@7.8747786,98.3914026,18.2z
October 88:00pmTae Gun Tai Tae Shrine in Pasak, Thalanghttps://goo.gl/maps/dJymu1otJL52
October 88:00pmSam Kong Shrine (Lim Hu Tai Su)https://goo.gl/maps/ywUri32Bn7m
October 88:00pmJong Ngee Tong, nearby Ton Sai Waterfall https://goo.gl/maps/duapbxMPCi82
October 88:15pmBaan Muang Mai Shrine in Thalang
October 88:30pmSam Ong Hu Shrine in Cherntalay, Thalang
October 88:30pmTai Seng Pud Joh Shrine in Chalong
October 93:00pmKathu Shrinehttps://goo.gl/maps/fpvf7id5U7T2
October 98:45pmSam Pai Gong Shrine in Bangkuhttps://goo.gl/maps/yNuSezdsePN2



Usually, the last day of the festival is the biggest day when a massive parade of Ma Song from all the shrines across the island join together to head to the ritual centre, Sapanhin Park to end the festival with a blast.

Ma Song will still appear possessed with sharp weapons slashing their cheeks while millions of firecrackers will be set off as a sign to send the angel spirits back in heaven. You will find loads of local people waiting along the side road to watch the annual thrill and to pay respect to the Ma Song. Prepare yourself with face mask, goggles, and maybe a spare shirt or a piece of clothes to cover your hair from thick smoke, and grab your camera so you won’t miss the shots that happen all around.


Source: http://www.phuketvegetarian.com, www.thisphuket.com, www.phuketbulletin.co.th, www.phuket.com




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