The reason why there is no Vegetarian Festival in China

Have you ever wondered why ‘Vegetarian Festival’ is not held greatly in China? Chinese people may be confused when we ask them this question because they don’t even know what the Vegetarian Festival is! Doesn’t the name of the festival and the menu have Chinese origins? Today, ACU PAY will solve this doubt and find out why Thailand has this festival and why China does not have this festival.

The origin of Vegetarian Festival

Vegetarian Festival is not only about not eating meat, food, and condiments that contain meat ingredients but also about maintaining morals and behaving as a good person physically, verbally, and mentally.

The ‘Vegetarian Festival’ that has become widespread in Thailand, Chinese people don’t call it the ‘Vegetarian Festival,’ but the ‘Nine Emperor Gods Festival’ In this ritual, it will refrain from killing animals, cutting their lives, and practicing the precepts by making a resolution to not eat meat diet to take an oath to observe the morals. In China, there are still some people who eat vegetarian food at this festival, but it is very rare. It is a Taoism tradition for 9 days.

Later, when Buddhism spread, beliefs and practices were linked together. It was believed that eating vegetarian food was a sacrifice of the Nine Emperor Gods, 7 Buddhas, and 2 Bodhisattva called ‘Kiwuang Hudzhou’ (九皇佛祖).

The Vegetarian Festival starts on a lunar calendar, starting from the 1st waxing moon to the 9th waxing moon of the 9th lunar month according to the Chinese calendar every year, which will correspond to the October of Thailand every year (15 – 23 October 2023).

Why did the Vegetarian Festival disappear from China?

The vegetarian Festival in China is thought to have disappeared during the Cultural Revolution in 1966 which was changed into communism, which destroyed traditional traditions such as textbooks, and almost every scripture related to rituals, culture, and religion until it gradually disappeared from mainland China.

Another reason is that China is a country with wide territory. The Vegetarian Festival is not a popular tradition throughout China. It’s just a small group of people. It’s not surprising that Chinese people don’t know about the Vegetarian Festival.

How can the Vegetarian Festival be spread in our country?

The Chinese who eat vegetarian food during the Vegetarian festival in China are mostly Hokkien and Teochew Chinese in Fujian Province, which is the coastal province of southeastern China. This group of Chinese immigrated along the South China Sea to land in Southeast Asia, which is the southern part of Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, and also brought a tradition of eating vegetarian food. It is assumed that mainland Chinese people began to migrate in the Ayutthaya period when we began to trade with China.

When the Chinese immigrated to Phuket, they brought the vegetarian Festival with them. It was fused with local beliefs and turned into a unique Vegetarian festival of Chinese descendants in Thailand. The Hokkien Chinese overseas in Singapore and Hong Kong were ruled by the British before, therefore, the old tradition disappeared and was turned into a more modern society. In Malaysia and Indonesia, people are mostly Muslim countries, so they rarely hold the Vegetarian festival.

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