Street food sellers in Bangkok’s Chinatown sold meatless dishes to celebrate the Vegetarian Festival or the ‘Nine Emperor Gods Festival’ that is held annually on the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Hundreds of vendors in the Yaowarat district of the city decorated their stalls with bright yellow bunt flags and prepared vegetarian dishes like noodles, vegetable soup, spring rolls, green curry, and fried rice to serve to hungry customers. Devotees would abstain from eating meat, meat products, and pungent vegetables like garlic and onion believing the practice would purge impurities from the mind and soul. Video shows the devotees queuing up at different shops to purchase the meals. Due to the Covid-19 situation this year, however, Bangkok Chinatown has cancelled the yearly street processions, which usually included shocking and sometimes gory face piercings, at the festival. Devotees have also been asked to refrain from the burning of incense sticks, candles, and paper to improve the air quality. The Vegetarian Festival is also celebrated in other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Southern Vietnam, Singapore, and Myanmar.
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