WHAT: Phuket Vegetarian Food Festival
WHERE: Phuket, Thailand
WHEN: October 8 to 17, 2018

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a colourful event held from October 8 to 17, 2018, attracting people from all over the globe in celebration of the local Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind.

Chinatown is the gathering point for the festival, where you will find rows of stalls selling an array of dishes from noodle soups to sweet cakes. In addition to the plethora of food you can enjoy the festivities at the temples and catch the Chinese Opera.

Though the true origins of the festival are unclear, it is thought that the festival was brought to Phuket by a wandering Chinese opera group who fell ill with malaria while performing on the island. They decided to pray to the Nine Emperor Gods and adhere to a strict vegetarian diet to ensure purification of the mind and body. To everyone's amazement the opera group made a complete recovery. The people celebrated by holding a festival that was meant to honour the gods as well as express the people's rejoicing at surviving the then,  fatal illness.