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Diwali of Thailand in Delhi

THE TOURISM Authority of Thailand in collaboration with ITC Maurya Sheraton and Towers offered some delicious Thai flavours this past week. The Thai dishes were presented to Delhi during the celebrations of Loy Krathong, a Thai festival similar to India's festival of lights, Diwali.

A six-minute video film showing Thai people celebrating Loy Krathong festival in Thailand was screened on the occasion.

The video film revealed that Loy Krathong is being celebrated for about 700 years in Thailand. The Krathong floats are made in the form of three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva that reflects the faith customized to fit in with the Thai farmer's way of life, which is dependent upon the flow of water. These days the festival is celebrated to pay obeisance to the water goddess, named `Phra Mae Khongkha'. The design of float is like a lotus made of locally available materials.

The float decorated with incense and candles is allowed to float along with the flow of river.

The floating of a Krathong - a banana leaf cup - is intended to drive away ill fortune as well as the sins to express apologies to Khongkha or Ganga, the river goddess. After that firecrackers are burnt. In the evening a lantern procession takes place.

Apart from these, these days various types of programmes like beauty contest are organised. The hand-made objects, paintings and fabrics designed by local people are also put on exhibition for visitors.

On the occasion artists of Thailand presented cultural programmes. In the food festival a vast array of Thailand dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian was available. Khaw man kai (rice cooked in chicken butter in spicy sauce), Khaw plaw (steamed rice), Pla pad phrik (sole fish with sweat of spicy sauce), Kaeng Kiew waan phak (vegetable green curry) and Phad phai (stir fried noodles with vegetables) were some of the dishes that caught the attention.

The evening also saw the launch of `Stir fry', the Thai food festival for a week. These specialized guest chefs from Thailand would prepare Thai food at Pavilion, the 24-hour restaurant at ITC Maurya Sheraton for both lunch and dinner.

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