The Vegetarian Festival, thetsakan kin che or เทศกาลกินเจ in Thai is a 9-day Taoist celebration during the 9th lunar month, which is in october. On the eve of the ninth moon, Taoist temples hold a ceremony to welcome the nine emperor gods. Devotees dressed in traditional white awaiting the arrival of their gods.
During these nine days, devotees dress all in white and eat ‘Che’ or กินเจ (kin che) in Thai. Because the food must undergo a series of rituals only food prepared in the sacred kitchen of the Chinese temple can be called che. Che means no meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products.
The Vegetarian Festival in Uthai Thani takes place at the Chao Mae Thapthim Shrine / Sarnchow Mae Tab Tim or ศาลเจ้าแม่ทับทิม in Thai. Everyday the devotees will perpare ‘Che’ meals 3 times a day : breakfast, lunch and dinner. They welcome everybody who wants to join them for a meal. But to be allowed in the temple, you will have to wear only white during this 9-day periode.
Although technically only the food prepared in Chinese temples is ‘Che’, vegetarian food is popular during these days. Restaurants will put yellow flags out with the word เจ ‘Che’ on it to indicate they offer Che food.
The vegetarian festival takes place from the 1st until the 9th of October in 2016.