PHUKET: The famous Phuket vegetarian festival will go ahead this year after organisers promised strict enforcement of social distancing principles to help prevent the resurgence of Covid-19 in the province.
Phuket governor Narong Woonsiew said provincial agencies and organisers agreed on Thursday the annual celebration could be held from Oct 17-25.
Leading festival organiser Prasert Fukthongphol thanked the province for giving the greenlight to continue the annual procession and fair.
“We will seriously enforce social distancing measures and require all participants to wear face masks,” he said.
Thousands of celebrants converge on Phuket each year for the colourful event, one of the most popular vegetarian festivals in the country.
Devotees of the Hindu god Shiva give up meat for the festival and some practice self-mutilation, piercing their cheeks with swords, some walking on hot coals and others climbing ladders made of knife blades.
The festival this year will be the first on the resort island since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The kingdom has so far recorded 3,516 cases of Covid-19, and Phuket was the second hardest hit, after Bangkok, with 227 cases. The capital has logged 1,557 infections to date.