Wednesday, 14 October 2015


From 13th until 22nd October 2015, I will be observing a 9 day Vegetarian Diet for the Nine Emperor Gods Festival 九皇爷诞.  I have been doing this since the age of 15 and believe me when I say I have done it for a long, long time. This festival to honour the 9 sons of the Goddess Dou Mou falls on the first to ninth days of the ninth lunar month.
Some devotees would start their vegetarian diet a day earlier, that is, on the eve of the festival. But I start on the first day.Why do this? Well, those who go on such a vegetarian diet not only refrain from eating meat but also dairy products like butter, milk and eggs. Chives, garlic, shallots, onions and spring onions are also prohibited as they are considered to have stimulating properties.
It is not so simple as just eating vegetables and not meat but also entails the purification of the body, mouth and mind. This would mean no sexual activities, no gambling, no killing, no alcohol consumption, no usage of foul language and no evil or lewd thoughts during this period. It can be considered a test of one’s power of endurance, self-discipline and penance.
From the Taoist point of view, observing this vegetarian diet is a form of cultivation whereby prayers should be made for peace and wellbeing, not so much for wealth and status.  The Deities would shower their blessing according to merits and deeds.
Those who worship the 9 Emperor Gods, honour them in the hope of prolonging one's life, eliminate calamities, and absolves ones sins and past debts and that of family members.

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