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Monday, November 21, 2005

Thai Food Festival

unicorn

Who knew that one Sunday could hold so many photos?

Thankfully the Thai Food Festival was only down the road from the Spanish Quarter Street Festival. I nipped between the two a number of times throughout the day, interspersing Thai treats with Spanish salsa.

thai sweets
Thai sweets

thai videos
Thai videos

It was a gloriously hot day and the buzz of families gave Tumbalong Park a happy carnival atmosphere. Thai families are definitely organised! They arrived with bamboo mats for sitting on, umbrellas for shade and some entreprenuerial types had even set up tents.

Refreshment came in the form of iced tea, iced black coffee, iced milky coffee or iced lemon tea. Then were were young coconuts shaped like a circus tent, to be shattered open by a smiling young man holding a cleaver. The sweet milky juice would be sucked up with a straw, and the soft creamy flesh scooped out with a spoon.

Little tubs of exotic ice creams could also be had for $1.50 but alas all the cool flavours like mangosteen, taro, green tea and guava were already gone by the time I enquired. I really wanted mangosteen but had to settle for the last papaya one instead.

thai drinks
Ice cold drinks

chendol
Chendol - a dessert made using rice flour tinted green
and then pushed through a sieve to create "green worms".

stalls
Queuing for food

popiah making
Chefs making popiah (a Singaporean-style raw spring roll
with egg, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, prawns and vegetables)

thai food
Thai fare

umbrella
Keeping cool with a painted parasol

ice kacang
Ice kacang

After nibbling on a sample of pad thai and crunching on a trio of sesame-encrusted toffeed banana fritters, a cup of ice kacang fulfilled both the drink and the dessert urges. A motley assortment of Asian sweets were ladled into the bottom of the cup: sugared beans, purple yam, mung bean, jelly, jackfruit and chendol, then topped with an avalanche of ice shavings and drenched with sweetened coconut milk.

The Thai boy bands (indeed, they sounded so) cleared the stage for a final performance of Thai dancing in traditional dress. They shimmered in resplendent silk embellished with intricate gold headpieces and adornments.

thai dancers 1

thai dancers 2

thai dancers 3

As day turned into dusk, preparations began for the Loy Krathong festival. A famous Thai celebration, Loy means "to float" and Krathong refers to the floating vessel made of banana leaves in the shape of a lotus leaf.

loy krathong
Krathong candles for sale

floating candle festival 1
Procession of Thai dancers

floating candle festival 2

floating candle festival 3

Loy Krathong is traditionally celebrated on the night of a full moon in the twelfth lunar month.

People purchase krathong candles, light them and make a wish before setting them afloat. The krathong are believed to carry away bad luck or sins, as well as signifying respect to Khongkha or Ganga, the River Goddess.

floating candle festival 4

The Thai Food Festival was held in Tumbalong Park on Sunday 13 November 2005.

This event takes place annually, usually in November.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Spanish Quarter Street Festival Part I
Spanish Quarter Street Festival Part II
Spanish Quarter Street Festival Part III
Newtown Festival

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 11/21/2005 07:05:00 pm


5 Comments:

  • At 11/22/2005 7:35 am, Blogger deborah said…

    Great photos Helen! You get the badge for festival commitment going to all three on the same day :)

     
  • At 11/22/2005 9:05 am, Anonymous nadine said…

    that green worm stuff looks crazy yet i really want to try some!

     
  • At 11/22/2005 9:17 am, Anonymous Nora said…

    It's funny how south east asian food is getting all mixed up together (identity crisis?) ;) e.g. chendol is more of a Malaysian/Singaporean dessert. And I always find it funny how most of my friends though that "satay" is Thai too! :)

     
  • At 11/22/2005 10:23 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Love the photos. Those girls look so cute. =)

    That said, I wish I could eat Thai desserts more often around here. I find that they are so yummy!

     
  • At 11/22/2005 11:18 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Saffron - Really? Yay! lol

    Hi Nadine - It's actually pretty bland. It's usually eaten with sweetened coconut milk which is mmm... yummy.

    Hi Nora - That's true, although it comes with the territory of festival goers seeking bite-sized treats I suppose. I suppose a lot of Thai restaurants reinforce this with their multicultural menus as well! =)

    Hi Reid - Glad you enjoyed the photos =) And yes, Thai desserts are great. I just wish they made fat-free coconut milk! lol

     

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