This Chinese Buddhist influenced annual vegetarian festival known as Kin Jay, a time of abstinence and purification of body and soul, takes place during the ninth month of the lunar calendar lasting about 9 days (Oct 8-16, 2010).
During this time, traditionally, participants abstain from consuming alcohol, eating meat and meat products, strong smelling ingredients like garlic, onions, fish sauce, etc. There are other rules such as women on their menstruation period and pregnant women are not allowed to attend the festival and participants are to dress in white or yellow during the festival. There are many temple offerings and many acts of self mortification (rituals intended to purify mind and body).
The festival starts with raising of a pole at Chinese temples in the city. This ritual signals to the nine gods to come down to earth to accept the offerings such as the self-mortification acts. There are many street processions and stage shows through out the city of Chiang Mai. during the festival.
Look for the yellow flags which signifies dishes made specifically for this very occasion.
Have a great time. Enjoy the festivities and the local cuisine in Chiang Mai, the city of culture and charm.