Sunday, April 15, 2007

Songkran and Phuket vegetarian festival

Today, while walking along Balestier road, I saw a huge crowd near Ah Hood road where the Burmese temple is. I was curious what event there was, and when I got near I saw lots of people drenched in water, then I was suddenly reminded of the Water festival - or what they call Thailand New Year or Songkran festival. The people will throw water on one another during this festival ocassion. I was surprised to see this in Singapore, and it just reminded me of the people living here who are of many races, religions, cultures, and countries.
Read more about Songkran here

The Songkran Festival reminds me of the Phuket Vegetarian festival, I think this festival is held in Singapore as well, but from what I understand from my mum (who attended one in Malaysia before), this festival has very strict rules which should not be broken, one of which includes going vegetarian (strictly no consumption of the 5 pungent roots). "Cleaniness" is very important and if you are not "clean" it would be better to be far away from the festival.

If you are visiting Phuket for the festival, there are several vegetarian restaurants you can visit. If you are choosing a hotel, Phuket Hotels offer a great selection of hotels in Phuket. Most good hotels can come up with vegetarian food.


Anonymous said...

Actually what's the reason to abstain from 5 pungent roots since they are plants?

dreamy said...

Hi jn,
I am not sure about other religions, but in Buddhism some Buddhists avoid them because eating them cook or raw will lead to lust and anger respectively, which are not conducive for practice. So avoidance can help them practice better, particularly if they are beginners.

Anonymous said...

Oic. Are there vegetarian Buddhists who eat them?

dreamy said...

Yes, I am one of them in fact. I usually don't eat it in home-cooked food, but I don't shun away from them if I am outside. But anyway, many of the food sold outside are usually Buddhist-suitable.

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