The Thai Food & Cultural Festival is the annual celebration of the tastes, colour, and beauty of Thailand. Held at the Royal Thai Embassy, the event is extremely popular, both for the deliciousness on offer and the cultural presentations on show.
There’s much to love about experiencing the rich culture of another country without leaving the comfort of your own city. In case you missed the event or wanted to relive the splendour, here’s a recap of the day that was – cultural and culinary delights galore!
Thai cuisine from local restaurants
Lining the embassy’s grounds were a plethora of stalls from Canberra’s finest Thai restaurants. Visitors sampled a prawn roll from Chong Co, spicy sausage form Thai Urban, and soft shell crab form Thai Central. Blending spice with signature freshness, the unique flavours of Thailand were on offer.
For those wanting to try a cultural treat, choices included Thai coffee, sweet Pandan Kaya Toast, ice cream with a choice of Thai toppings, and Thai milk tea.
Edible Thai sculptures
For over 50 years, edible sculptures have been a popular tradition in Thailand. At the festival Kids watched wide-eyed as artists used toffee to create decorative lollypops, sculpting shapes such as monkeys, roosters, dragons and flowers!
The Demonstration of a Floating Crown (Krathong)
Elaborate and colourful, the traditional krathong is made from a slice of the trunk of a banana tree. They are decorated with intricately folded banana leaves, incense sticks, and a candle. On the night of the full moon these are launched on to the river, sometimes with a small coin as an offering to river spirits.
Sericulture (silk making)
Thai silk is famous, but what many do not know is that it is quite tricky to manufacture. “It is made by hand, it’s all hand made. Each piece of silk took one week to make.” Far from a new fad, sericulture has been practiced in Thailand for over 3000 years!
Mulberry Leaf Tea
Mulberry tea is very popular in Thailand because of its health benefits. At the festival, visitors could buy organic and non-organic Mulberry teas, made authentically in Thailand. “There’s no caffeine, it lowers cholesterol, and lowers the blood pressure. Mulberry tea also has natural sweetness.”
Visitors were treated to dancing, Muay Thai demonstrations, and cultural performances. Musicians played traditional Thai instruments, such as the Ranat Ek and Khim, and commentators gave educational talks in traditional Thai dress.
There was plenty to see and sample. Visitors could head to the Thai Trade stall to get ingredients for those home-made Thai delicacies, a wishing pond offered the chance to win return tickets to Thailand, and Thai massage was an incredible bargain at $1.00 for 1 minute.
A fantastic day for all who attended, the festival is hosted every year by the Royal Thai Embassy.