Thailand is not an easy country in which to be vegetarian. But once a year the country’s avid meat eaters lay down their spicy meat stir-fries in favour of vegetables and meat substitutes.
During the annual ten-day “Tesagin Kin Pak” vegetarian festival, yellow flags representing Buddhism and good moral conduct flutter in the wind above entire neighbourhoods, while tiny mobile street carts with a lone yellow flag advertise vegetarian-friendly food.
Glistening tofu, noodles with bean sprouts, desserts made with sesame and ginger and steaming hot vegetable broths abound.
“I give up meat to cleanse the spirit so that my family will prosper,” said Ploy Sudham, who owns an art gallery on the outskirts of Bangkok’s Chinatown.