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Local Festivals   -     Phuket King's Cup Regatta

The Phuket King's Cup Regatta was inaugurated on 5th December 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King. It has been held annually every year since, during the first week of December, in honour of His Majesty who graciously agreed to be patron of the event.

With the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King, the Regatta is organised by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organising Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.

The classes of yacht are: racing, cruising, ocean cruising, multi-hull, classic keel boats and Farr Platus. Competitors and their yachts come from all over the world, including strong contingents from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, America and Europe.

King's Cup  phuket
The regatta has progressed from modest beginnings into an event that is now widely recognised as the largest regatta in Asia. With participants from all over the world converging on Phuket to race in Asia's most prestigious regatta, the event offers five days of great sailing off Phuket's West Coast.

The Phuket King's Cup Regatta has a unique combination of top standard racing, spectacular scenery and sailing conditions and outstanding social events.

Each year, His Majesty the King sends a personal representative to present the King's Cup trophies on his behalf. This special Royal awards ceremony is the highlight of the event.

The Phuket King's Cup is the jewel in the crown of the Asian Yachting Circuit

Local Festivals   -     Vegetarian Festival in Phuket

See website Phuket Vegetarian Festival

This colourful and spectacular event is held annually from the first to the ninth day of the ninth Chinese lunar month (which falls sometime between late September and mid October in the Gregorian calendar). These nine days of self-denial are considered to be auspicious both for the devotee and the community at large.

The festival celebrates the beginning of "Taoist Lent" when devout Buddhist Chinese descendants abstain from eating all meat and meat products, adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, wear white clothes and observe 10 rules or commitments in order to purify their minds and bodies. The rules include good physical and mental behaviour and avoidance of sex and alcohol.

The festival involves various processions, temple offerings and cultural performances and culminates in rather exciting yet slightly gruesome ceremonies (which are not for the faint hearted) such as walking on hot coals, climbing knife-blade ladders, body piercing and other acts of self mortification.

These latter ceremonies are undertaken by participants in a semi-trance acting as mediums of the Chinese gods, and it is believed that these gods will protect them from harm. The puncturing of cheeks with knifes, and other instruments, is especially striking. Surprisingly, these ascetic devotees, possessed by the spirits of nine deities (Emporer Gods), apparently feel no pain and show little sign of real injury.

Vegetarian festival phuket
Throughout the festival visitors can indulge in specially prepared vegetarian cuisine at street stalls and markets throughout the island, and especially in Phuket town.

The opening event ( go teng ) is characterised by the raising of great poles, some ten meters high, at each Chinese temple in Phuket Town on the afternoon of the day before the festival, to allow the gods, such as Yok Ong Song Te (Shiva), to descend from the heavens and bring spiritual power. At midnight, nine lanterns are hung from each of the poles, signifying the opening of the festival.

Processions take place at the following nine shrines around the island:-

Jui tui Shrine (the main shrine situated near the fresh food market / Thai airways office in Phuket town),
Sapam Shrine, Samkong Shrine, Bantharue Shrine, Bangneow Shrine, Cherng Talay Shrine, Kathu Shrine, Yokkekeng Shrine, and the Suiboontong Shrine.

The origins of the festival date back to 1825, when a travelling Chinese theatre troupe fell ill to a mysterious epidemic (malaria). They decided to adhere to a strict vegetarian diet and pray to the Nine Emperor Gods (Youk Hong Ta Te) of Taoism for purification of the mind and body, and they were cured. As penance they erected Chinese temples and held a vegetarian festival to honour the gods and to ward off any future bad luck.

Local Festivals   -     Loy Krathong celebration at Bang Maruan Lagoon, Sri Sonthorn, Phuket

Bang Maruan lagoon is in the Sri Sonthorn sub-district of Thalang not far from the Heroine Monument in Thalang district.

Many years ago it was a tin mining pit.

Each year the local government usually arranges for traditional Loy Krathong celebrations at this location.

Bang Maruan lagoon at Sri Sonthom, Thalang, Phuket

Vegetarian festival phuket
As per the map below, access to the lagoon can be from three directions.

The easiest approach is via the main northerly airport dual carriageway. About 2 kms after the Herione Monument there is a small road to the left (road number 3032). This road is easy to miss. It is after the Shell and Caltex petrol stations and is opposite a small 7/11 shop on the opposite side of the road. Proceed down road 3032 for a further 2 kms.

Alternatively, proceed west from the Heroine Monument towrdas Cherng Talay and Surin. After about 6 kms or so, turn right at a set of traffic lights into road 4015. Turn right again after about two kilometers, and follow the road round.

Bang Maruan lagoon at Sri Sonthom, Thalang, Phuket

Bang Maruan lagoon at Sri Sonthom, Thalang, Phuket

Turtle Releasing

This event is held on 13th April, which is the National Fisherman's Day (and also Songkran)

Baby turtles are released into the sea at Mai Khao beach (in Sirinart National Park) and Nai Yang beach (north west of the island).

Phuket International Seafood

Phuket is a seafood lover's paradise. The Seafood Festival, held around May, is designed to publicise the delicious seafood of Phuket and attract visitors during the low season. Activities include a Marine Tourism Resources Parade, seafood stalls, demonstrations of regional cuisines and cultural shows.

Thao Thep Krasatri-Thao Sri Suntorn

Held on 13th March every year in memory of the two heroines who led the defense of the island against the Burmese in 1785.

Many activities and celebrations are organised over a ten day period.

The individual events vary each year.

Tourist Season Opening

Also known as the Patong Carnival, this festival commences on 1st November to mark the official high season opening.

Colourful parades, sports events, shows, concerts and a beauty competition for foreign tourists are major activities.
Laguna Phuket

The event is held in each December.

The triathlon consists of a 1,000-metre swim, a 5-kilometre bike race and a 12-kilometre run.

It attracts world-class athletes.
Phuket Big Bike

Phuket bike week, centered in Patong, offers an amazing collection of Harleys, Hondas and super bikes at this annual event from 9th to 15th April (and thus partially overlaps Songkran). There are contests, parties, music events and charity rides around the island.
Phuket Sport Fishing

Fishermen from all over the world compete in this classic event.

The Classic emphasizes a "catch and release" policy and promotes sport fishing around Phuket's waters.

It is held in November at Chalong Bay.

Phuket Fireworks

Over 4000 fireworks will light the sky in a dazzling display.

The location is Sapan Hin in Phuket Town (east side).

The annual date is mid August.
Por Tor

An important festival for ethnic Chinese. Special food, flowers and candles are presented to the ancestor's altars. Flour cake offerings, shaped as turtles, are made in the belief that, since turtles live to a great age, worshippers may extend the length of their own lives. Held in the 7th Thai lunar month (typically June).


Phuket Old Town Festival

The Phuket Old Town festival features traditional local culture, history, foods and lifestyle, colorful street processions and vibrant celebrations.
The festival usually takes place at Queen Sirikit Public Park, and the old town areas of Thalang road, Krabi road and Soi Rommanee.
It is often combined with the Chinese New Year festivities.


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