Rituals of 5 Heavenly Armed Forces and Symbols in the Vegetarian Festival

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Patamas Pinnukul


This article aims to present the symbols and rituals of the 5 Heavenly Armed Forces in the Vegetarian Festival, Phuket province using the ritual areas of Jui Tui Tao Bo Geng shrine as the main ritual space. The ritual of 5 Heavenly Armed Forces inherits the beliefs from the Chinese ancestors in Heavenly and Divine Armies based in all Cardinal directions, including East, West, North and South as well as in the central direction. There is a total of 5 Heavenly Armed Forces with two significant symbols, so called “Eia Kee” which is the flag of the Heavenly and Divine Armies formed in different colors, including “Eia Tao”, spines sharply pointed with heads of every divine Chief of Heavenly Armed Forces symbolically attached for the purpose of having 5 Heavenly Armed Forces watch over the Vegetarian Festival that gives an importance to the 5 Divine Armies beginning with “Pang Eia”, which is an opening ceremony to invite all of the 5 Heavenly Armed Forces based in all 5 Cardinal directions to be enshrined at the holy Chinese temple. Meanwhile, “Kho Goon” ritual is known as a banquet for the God’s armies accompanying all of the 5 Heavenly Armed Forces in all 5 Cardinal directions. “Tek Kiam” is a settling ceremony indicating the boundary in the ritual spaces. Finally, “Chew Eia” ritual is a farewell ceremony to send all the Heavenly and Divine Armies from 5 Cardinal directions back to heaven. The results of the study made it possible to understand the significant meaning of beliefs in the Heavenly Armed Forces adapting to change of the society but is still being inherited as “Sacred Rituals” until now.


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Pinnukul ป. . (2021). Rituals of 5 Heavenly Armed Forces and Symbols in the Vegetarian Festival. Wiwitwannasan Journal of Language and Culture, 5(2), 91–112. Retrieved from https://so06.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/wiwitwannasan/article/view/248415
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