Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Happy Thingyan! Burmese New Year

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So Monday marked the start of Thingyan - the Burmese New Year Festival, which this year runs from 13 to 16 April.

Related to
Songkran, the New Year Festival in Thailand, Thingyan is a wonderful festival where young and old alike give alms to monks, pay respects to elders, hold great feasts, take part in dances, go to open-air shows, and most notably lob gallons of water at each other! Thankfully April is the hottest time of the year in Burma and so likelihood of hypothermia is fairly low.

However, actual Thingyan celebrations can be hard to come by in the UK. Therefore, my family and I decided on the next best option and went to the Songkran festival last Sunday at the
Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon. The grounds are beautiful, the Wat (Thai temple) itself is spectacular, and we had a great time.

Here's a picspam to show you how fab it was:

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Gilding the Buddha

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Tawana Supermarket

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Mini Thai Princess Contest

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Chicken scratchings (these were really delicious)

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Snake Beans for sale

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Stir-fry Stall

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Thai ice lolly machine - Vimto, Green Cream Soda and Pepsi Max flavours!

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Fishcakes aka Tod Man

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The evil acacia leaf aka Cha Om (recipe here)

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Som Tam master at work

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Best Som Tam ever with teeny blue crab!

For a proper review, visit http://eatthatyellowsnow.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/songkran-buddhapadipa-thai-temple-wimbledon/ - I'm even in one of his pictures ...

5 comments:

  1. That sounds amazing. Do you have any idea where these food stall owners usually sell their food?

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  2. The som tam stall was run by Esarn Kheaw on Uxbridge Road:

    http://www.esarnkheaw.com/

    which is meant to be wonderful - Matthew Norman review here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/17/esarn-kheaw-restaurant-review

    The stir-fry stall was run by Tawana on Westbourne Grove:

    http://www.tawana.co.uk/thaiRestaurants.htm

    Nick on Eat That Yellow Snow might remember some more - I was too busy stuffing my face :)

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  3. Thank you! I've heard good things about Esarn Kheaw before... but I love som tam so I think I might have to move it higher up my "to do" list!

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  4. hi Meemalee!

    Nick from Eat That Yellow Snow here. What a coincidence that you happened to be in one of the pictures I took and you managed to find it online!

    Like you, I was busy stuffing my face. No idea who runs which store, but tonight, I'll be going to Esarn Kheaw for a friend's 'going back to Thailand' dinner.

    I'll be adding you to my Foodie Blogroll, great to meet a fellow foodie from our part of the world here in London! Seems like we all like the same stuff!

    Cheers!

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  5. @Kake - no probs!

    @Nick - Eat lots on my behalf and take lots of pictures!

    Oh and thanks for the ad - I have returned the favour :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment!