The Jae Festival

In Thailand

The Jae Festival in Thailand

The Thai Vegetarian festival, locally known as the Jae Festival, is a nine-day vegetarian food festival celebrated all over Thailand. It is also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.  Jae, is actually even more strict than straight-forward vegetarianism or veganism. Besides staying away from meat or animal products, pungent-odour vegetables are not used in cooking, i.e. no garlic, onions or chives!  It is also a period of purification of the mind and body and in some places, very elaborate ceremonies take place including body piercing and firewalking!

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The Jae Festival is celebrated yearly during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar year which this year falls between 8 – 17 October. If you visit any local shopping malls, street food stalls, restaurants or seven 7-11 stores, you will notice strings of yellow and red-triangle shaped flags everywhere. This is they symbol of the Jae festival and the sign that you’ve found something safe to eat, if you are observing this 10-day festival.  

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Some of the most popular foods are vegetable dumplings, tofu treats and sweet desserts swimming in coconut milk, to name a few.  But, no matter what, most items are worth a try – some naturally made this way year-round and others whose recipes have been modified to cut out meat, fish or other animal products for this period alone.

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