The Vegetarian festival is an annual festival celebrated in towns where people of Chinese origin reside. People dress up in white throughout the festival with many of them piercing or self-mutilating themselves and walking on sharp or dangerous objects which can be pain-inflicting. The Vegetarian festival origins are based on a group of Chinese opera performers having visited the island. It was said that they fell extremely ill following which they resorted to a strict vegetarian diet. They also offered prayers to the Nine Emperor Gods after which they recovered completely. This was deemed to a miracle and work of the heavens. Upon their survival, the overjoyed travellers started holding a festival in honour of the gods.
Thais observe this festival for 10 days decided by the Chinese lunar calendar. People who take part only eat vegetarian food for 10 days. Parades and firecrackers mark the start of the festival in Takua Pa and special accommodations are made in the menu for vegetarian items at this time.
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