In Phuket, there are more shrines than temples. These shrines are sacred places for Chinese-Thais. During the Vegetarian Festival devotees refrain from eating all kinds of meat and dairy products and become vegetarian. A highlight of the festival is to visit Phuket’s main shrines to pray for help in the coming year. Each god has its own particular strength and power and praying to the right god and asking for the right things will ensure success.
What Phuketians call the Third Lunar-Month Festival is in fact the Chinese New Year. It stretches over three days starting with the ‘Buying Day’ when locals buy food and materials for the ritual, including gifts for relations. The second day is ‘Worship Day’ and is for families meeting and setting up a table outside their house dedicated to the worship of gods, ancestors, and souls. The third day (which is the actual New Year’s Day) is called the ‘Travel Day’.