The Phuket Vegetarian Festival
is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month
of the Chinese calendar. It is believed that the vegetarian
festival and its accompanying sacred rituals bestow
good fortune upon those who religiously observe this
rite. During this time, local residents of Chinese
ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan
diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making.
Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines
and temples and aesthetic displays such as walking
barefooted over hot coals and ascending ladders with
bladed rungs are performed by entranced devotees known
as "Ma Song".