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Mar 26, 2010 05:53 AM

Songkran festival at Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram in Elmhurst?


I made it to the very end of the Royal Katin celebration at Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram last November. Amazing.

Anyone know when their Songkran festival will be this April?


Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram
76-16 46th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

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  1. Sunday, April 11th from about 8-4. I'm so upset I can't go since I found out too late and I have to work!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Piselidolci

      thanks for the tip! sorry you can't make it though . . . sneak out!

      1. re: Piselidolci

        woooahhh, is this similar to the royal kathin?

        ????? that was teh greatest thing on earth last year.

      2. How do these events work? If I am not thai and do not attend the "temple" on a regular basis will I know what to do and look for? Or should I expect some serious confusion and awkwardness upon entering and hope to find someone who will be my guide to the event?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Mootsarell

          These events are meant to be fund raisers for the temple. All the food is brought in or cooked by members of the temple, prepared beforehand or cooked at the temple grounds. All the food is technically free, but there is an expectation of a donation to the temple for the foods consumed. Maybe they've changed the way it's run since I've been there a few years ago, but this is how I remember it being run. While there are some good and there are some interesting dishes to sample, I never found the mass-produced food here to be that great. It's like going to any other church fundraiser. Except there might be a procession of monks, and a chanting session.

          1. re: Mootsarell

            it's not awkward at all for a non-thai. they are very welcoming. teh donations for the royal kathin were as such: they had this dragon and you pin your donation on it. it's not intrusive at all. I think the food is excellent, where else can you find homemade thai food like this?
            IN FACT: I dropped by today to see what's up and a woman showed us around the temple, brought us up to the room where there is a green buddha,and they fed us food. we had rice, duck, pork leg, some larb, shrimp,... there wasd about 6 large dishes, then around 8 smaller dishes to choose from. everyone was very nice and warm.
            I'm not sure I should be encouraging people to come... you might ruin it for me...

            1. re: Mootsarell

              I have "toured" and visited the Wat many times, each time I have been warmly welcomed and been offered lots of food, even on non-event days.

              If you have never been, its worth a visit.

              They even feed the stray cats well

              Ask to visit the alter at the very top; great views and a wonderful room.

            2. For those who haven't been, here's some background on the Royal Kathin celebration:


              After flipping to the appropriate page on her wall calendar to provide the date, the counterwoman at Ally's (the Thai grocery across the street from Upi Jaya, under the same ownership as Ayada) confirmed thet the variety of food at the Songkran festival is similar. When I attended the Royal Kathin celebration in 2008, all the food was under tents outdoors, and crowds made it difficult even to get in the doors of the temple itself. (I thought i was better to leave room for the regulars.)

              Though the food may be similar (good, plentiful, though not exemplary, as E Eto comments), for the temple congregation the underlying events are different, and each significant in its own way. As Jeffsayyes says, those who approach this event respectfully rather than as a food free-for-all are welcome. Pinning a donation on the dragon would be welcome, too.

              76-13 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

              Upi Jaya
              76-04 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

              77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                1. re: Joe MacBu

                  In 2011 (on the Gregorian calendar, 2554 on the Buddhist calendar), Songkran will be celebrated at Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram on Sunday, April 10. Here's a brief slideshow from the 2010 festival:


                  I confirmed the date at Thai Thai, the nearby grocery on Woodside Ave. on the site of the former Ally's, via a flyer posted inside the door (and attached below). If you attend the Songkran festival and wish to give added thanks, Thai Thai would be a good place to score a cooling beverage or two afterward.

                  Thai Thai
                  76-13 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                  1. re: DaveCook

                    Hi Dave,

                    Even if it's no longer Ally's, does Thai Thai still sell the fried bananas?


                    1. re: missmasala

                      I'm not sure, though overall Thai Thai does seem to carry fewer of the recently made snacky things than Ally's did.

                      1. re: DaveCook

                        A sign in the window advertises fried banana on Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 to 2:00. A waitress from Ayada, where the bananas are fried (and also sold, at the counter), was delivering a fresh batch about 1:00, as I arrived. She told me, too, that this year's Songkran festival will be held on April 13.

                        Dave Cook

                        1. re: DaveCook

                          Hey Dave -Thanks! The festival is usually on a Sunday. Wonder if they changed this or if it might it be April 15.

                          1. re: anitac

                            The sign on the temple said April 15.

                          2. re: DaveCook

                            You're right, anitac, it's usually a Sunday, and the gal at Ayada might have misspoke. I'm inclined to go with pynchoff's sighting from the temple itself: April 15.

                            Dave Cook

                            1. re: DaveCook

                              Thanks Dave! What time do these usually start? I always think I go early enough but still miss the beginning. I think 9 am?

                              1. re: anitac

                                Arriving at 9:00 should put you at the very early end of things. Unless you will be paying your respects inside the temple, which on festival days can be too crowded even for the congregation, you may find yourself sharing a donut and coffee with folks who are setting up outside. The buffet opens around 10:30, maybe 11:00. It, too, is very crowded, but good-natured; do bear in mind that this is a religious festival, in the spirit of fellowship rather than food frenzy. The festival is open to all without charge, though a donation to the temple is welcome.

                                Dave Cook

                  2. Any word on if / when Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram's will be hosting Songkran festivities in 2012?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: RJMcIII

                      The next Chowhound who swings by Thai Thai should be able to find out, if not from a flyer posted inside the door, then by asking the shopkeeper, Noy (my phonetic spelling).

                      Dave Cook

                      1. re: DaveCook

                        What's the time schedule for tomorrow's festival? THanks.