Follow us:

Discover the unexpected in the Bay Area. Explore All of SF Bay Area
Events & Festivals

Chowdown Report: Lao New Year 2257 Festival @ Wat Lao Saysettha in Santa Rosa (2014)

Melanie Wong | Apr 24, 201511:28 PM

On the eve of this year's new year festival, I searched but came up empty on a report from last year. Since I've been the main enforcer of the rule that a report be filed after each chowdown event, I guess I'll go on record.

2014 was my third time at the NY festival. In addition to attending on Saturday, I joined in on Sunday for the first time as well.

A new dish for me in the food sale was Khur Mee, stir-fried wheat noodles with bean sprouts and chunks of pork blood. The main seasoning was a very sweet soy sauce.

The Lao ladies dressed in their Sunday best silk finery, the saffron-robed monks chanting, and all the pageantry made for an even more special celebration. On Sunday, the day starts with Tak Baht, the offering of symbolic rice to the monks, and later food and financial alms. A huge lunch buffet table groaned under the weight of the homecooked dishes contributed by the temple members. Special round tables were set for the monks. I had the chance to try four different versions of soop nor mai, a variety of mystery bitter greens, as well as other homey Lao dishes.

Here's the album of photos starting from the food preparation on Friday evening, Saturday's food festival, and then Sunday's community lunch, gathering of alms, ceremonies and parade.

2014 report

2013 report

2012 report

    Image Title (Optional)
    Caption (Optional)
    Image Credit (Optional)
Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Recommended from Chowhound

Catch up on the latest activity across all community discussions.
View latest discussions