Don’t let the name fool you — the Phuket Vegetarian Festival may be the most hardcore festival we’ve ever heard of. While veggie-friendly eats do play a role in this firecracker-friendly affair on Thailand’s largest island, this nine-day religious festival is really known for its ceremonies that include acts of self-mutilation and face and body piercing with knives, stakes, and household items by entranced mediums — called mah song — who parade through the city in outfits of white. While these and other rituals like firewalking, bladed ladder climbing, and bathing in hot oil may make you cringe, they demonstrate a belief that the gods will heal any wounds and are part of a larger goal of purification that includes abstinence from sex, alcohol, and meat. But don’t worry — like any good festival, this one doesn’t forget the food, and je, special vegetarian dishes marked by red and yellow signs, is one festival tradition that’s easy to stomach. Although you may encounter a bleeding mah song or two as you chow down, that will be the only surprise — apparently je tastes just like the meat-based classics. October 1-9 in Phuket, Thailand.
More Experience Events
That weekend craving for hot, sugary, dough pulling goodness can now be scratched in the most epic of ways. Time Out Doughfest is putting all your favorite NY donut gurus in one spot for what could be a Battle Royal of glazed proportions. Coffee, which is an obvious must, is provided by one of our favorites, Sweetleaf. They are even dropping a DJ into the mix so you can fall into your sugar coma with some blissful back beats guiding you into your slumber.
Tuck your napkin into your shirt, grab your Wet-Naps, and get ready, because the Ulster County Fairgrounds are about to be taken over by the 12th Annual Hudson Valley Rib Fest, a yearly affair where more than 16,000 people converge to celebrate all things ribs-related. The day will include more ribs than that rack that flipped over the Flintstone’s car at the drive in PLUS live music, cooking demos, children’s country games, and a contest of 60 teams battling it out in the Empire State Barbecue Championship. There’s a little bit of heart behind all this rib-related activity, too — all proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Rotary activities at home and around the world. Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm Sunday 11am-5pm in New Paltz, New York.
We love barbecue competitions when smashed into music festivals but Hogs for the Cause adds a charitable component. that makes it a no brainer. Add that it’s in New Orleans and if you are not in a cab to an airport (or your car if local) I’m not sure you have tastebuds. The 90 team, 2 day, competition and party raises money for children fighting pediatric brain cancer. Teams range from pro’s to backyard warriors to fun loving eaters trying their hand with the masters. Each team raises money for the cause and so it really is an incredible way to support a great cause bite after bite. Unlike some other competitions, every team sells food. Of course at $2 to $6 for dishes teams will sell out. Go early and go hungry. April 1 from 3:30-9:30 and April 2 from 11:15am to 9:45pm @ The Festival Grounds in New Orleans.
For the fourth year in a row their will be more capscium concentrated in North Brooklyn than any where else on earth. With names like Naga Morich, Madame Jeanette, Dorset Naga, Bhut Jolokia and Moruga Scorpion, you might think it’s a South American ex-con reunion. The NYC Hot Sauce Expo burns their home into Greenpoint for two days this weekend with representation from India to Africa to Trinidad with sauces highlighting the hottest of the hot. With events like the Torch Bearers Gacumole Eating Contest and Defcon Sauces Chicken Wing Eating Competition, there is something for everyone. Even if you’re not a hot sauce enthusiast you can come down and watch people compete to burn their face and insides to win a pepper topped trophy. April 23rd and 24th from 10am-6pm in Brooklyn.