Bangkok is the capital city of the Southeast Asian nation of Thailand. The most populous city of Thailand as well, Bangkok serves as the hub of Thailand’s commercial and cultural activity. It is also one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations due to its unique lifestyle, leisure and cultural attractions, and its lively nightlife.
One of the most unique cultural festivals celebrated in Bangkok is the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. This event is a nine day long Taoist festival consisting of various traditions and rituals. This festival has a rich heritage, and is a very colourful and vibrant celebration, which provides great insights to the culture of Bangkok.
Celebrated at the beginning of the 9th Lunar month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is celebrated in several countries such as Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand. The Nine Emperor Gods are generally accepted to be 9 stars, considered to be the offspring of the Female Deity; Dou Mu, located around the Big Dipper. Other theories are that they are nine martyrs of the Qin Dynasty, who were underground Ming loyalists. There are many unique traditions associated with this event. The first is that the devotees who celebrate this festival become vegetarian for the nine days of its duration.
One of the most colourful festivals in the Thai capital of Bangkok is the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. This vibrant festival has many different rituals and customs and is an excellent way to witness the social and religious solidarity of Bangkok.
Prayers and other rituals are also performed throughout the nine days at river banks in a bid to invite the Nine Emperor Gods to earth, while also praying to dispel any bad fortune befallen on the people. However, the highlight of this event is the Sending off Ceremony of the Nine Emperor Gods. This ceremony involves the sending off the invited Gods bank through the river, which is accompanied by many colourful dragon boats and lion dances. This colourful festival also shows the social and religious solidarity in Bangkok, as thousands of devotees attend this event.
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