Annual Vegetarian Festival Kicks Off in Chiang Mai

 | Thu 25 Sep 2014 18:18 ICT

CityNews – Residents and tourists yesterday took part in the official opening ceremony for this year’s Vegetarian Festival in Chiang Mai.

Photo: Weerasak Panyachod.

Boonlert Buranupakorn, chief executive of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organisation, presided over the ceremony at the Chiang Mai Buddha Meeting Hall in Muang district.

Around 1,000 students and other residents took part in a parade, and there was lion dancing and other entertainment. Participants prayed to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, and enjoyed vegetarian food sold by vendors and given out for free by the organisers.

Free vegetarian food will be available at various temples and other locations until October 2. Vendors display yellow flags to show that they are serving vegetarian food.

The annual vegetarian festival, which started on Tuesday evening, has Taoist origins but has been incorporated into Thai Buddhist practices. It is observed mainly by Thais of Chinese heritage, who eat vegan food for nine days every year.

This year, the cost of some vegetables has gone up due to the inclement weather, vendors at Warorot market told CityNews. However, they expect the price to go down again soon as growing conditions are generally better during the winter months.