Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong presided over the ceremony at Jui Tui Shrine in Phuket Town, at the auspicious time of 5:09pm. Jui Tui is the largest Chinese shrine in Phuket with the most male and female Mah Song spirit mediums joining the festival each year.
Mah Song spirit mediums, dressed in the purity of white, performed sacred rituals shortly after the pole-raising ceremony, as thousands of locals and tourists watched on.
From 10pm last night, all other Chinese shrines participating in the festival joined in the pole-raising ceremonies to invite the Nine Emperor Gods as the vegetarian food-eating customs began.
All devotees participating in the nine-day festival will perform the ritual of not eating meat and abstaining from sex and alcohol while wearing white and practising general cleanliness and hygiene for the nine days.