"Owtao" and Vegetarian Food and Beliefs of Thai Chinese in Trang Province
Keywords:Owtao, Vegetarian Festival, Thai Chinese, Beliefs
This article considers the Vegetarian Festival of the Thai Chinese in Trang Province and its traditions, examining the 'Ko-Khun' ritual and the delicacy called 'Owtao', in particular its origins and preparation according to Thai Chinese beliefs. The Vegetarian Festival is held in October each year and involves various rituals, foremost among them the Ko-Khun military ritual. Divided into vegetarian and non-vegetarian sub-rituals, this is held on the 10th day of the waxing moon in the 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The ritual entails offering thanks to the patron god of the military who watches over all the activities organised during the Vegetarian Festival, whereby the main delicacy to be served at the non-vegetarian Ko-Khun ritual is known as 'Owtao', relates to the beliefs of Thai Chinese regarding auspicious features and represents solidarity, unity and harmony.
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