PHUKET: Phuket folk from all over the island spent this afternoon pasting gold leaf onto Go Teng poles, hoping for good luck, before they are raised at every Chinese shrine in Phuket this afternoon at 5:09pm to mark the start of the 2013 Vegetarian Festival.

“We have set up lots of places to eat in the vicinity of our shrine and trained our staff to teach tourists what to see and how to conduct themselves during the nine days and nights of the festival,” said Teeravut Sritularak, the president of the Jui Tui shrine.

For people wanting to join the opening ceremonies, the full schedule of today's activities at all participating shrines across Phuket is as follows:

Kathu Shrine