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Vegetable Prices Increases Before the Vegetarian Festival

Vegetable Prices Increases Before the Vegetarian Festival

Phuket’s vegetarian festival is set to begin this week, but even before that, vegetable prices in Thailand are touching unevenly. The floods have also caused a lot of damage to the vegetable crop. Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Dianmu have damaged crops, including vegetables, in the central, north and northeastern regions. Also floods have eroded roads, and halted train services, further complicating the availability of vegetables.

The cost of vegetables which are displayed during the festival has increased by 10 to 20 baht per kilogram, causing hardship to the vendors in general and the festival in particular.

Ahead of the festival, produce vendors are already reporting that a combination of their sales flooding is driving up the cost of their products, while Covid-19 has bought their vegetables with less available money. Vegetables like kale, morning glory, eggplant, and celery have seen their price rise, driving potential buyers away.

Festival participants are already gearing up for the event, which attracts many people to the temples and shrines of the area. The shrines and everything connected to them are being thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, including amulets, lanterns, and even all cooking utensils and equipment and tables.

During the festival, health and safety measures will be strictly enforced. Even the traditional procession of monks holding a parade that runs through the city will now be performed in the form of a procession of cars accompanied by monks. And people visiting shrines will have to take temperature checks and wear face masks at all times.

Some shrines are restricting entry to only those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Jui Tui Shrine in Muang District on Ranong Road is one of those alert places. It is known to be the largest temple in Phuket and traditionally sees huge crowds before the preparations for the festival begin. This year however the shrine is taking COVID-19 very seriously and has banned stalls at the nearest gate on the roads and generally hindered any gathering activities.

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