went along to the buddha birth day festival at southbank on the weekend. not that i have any inclination to celebrate or remember some dead religious figure's birthday, mind you. i'm happy to admit that my reasons are a lot more shallow - i'm simply drawn by the accompanying food fair :p since first stumbling across this annual festival a few years ago, (it's now in its 10th year), i've made it a point to try to drop by for a meal if i have the chance, though i think i tend to forget that the food is all vegetarian until i get there!
this year i went with a few clay people, watching a somewhat lackluster lion dance performance before searching for options to satisfy our rumbling tummies. there were probably around 20 stalls selling food and drinks, with a lot of signage in chinese which is always helpful for the majority english-speaking population... (though granted the bulk of visitors to the festival itself would probably be chinese). anyways, i always have trouble choosing, never knowing how to separate the good from the bad, or the good from the ordinary, until i hand over my money and taste the food for myself. bumped into an old high school friend who recommended a few items, and i ended up getting some fried dumplings, a drumstick (which was itself a smallish and fairly expensive piece of faux meat), a herbal tea drink, rice (pyramid) dumpling, and a "fresh roll" (like a spring roll, but not fried, and more like a spring roll than a popiah) for a total of $12. i was quite satisfied, at least in terms of quantity. quality wise, the fresh roll and a salt and pepper chicken item (recommended by my friend, and which i tasted thanks to the sharing of my dining buddies) were the yummiest. everything else was fairly average, with the "drumstick" the least value for money.
we stayed around for more performances at the suncorp piazza, including some martial arts demonstrations (which i think involved a certain "chik" i know) and a hip hop / breakdancing routine by planet fresh, from which i was hoping to see more breaking. i wasn't initially intending to record this, but thought that the name of the group sounded familiar (i think i know people who know them) so got out my camera...
after this it was time for the fireworks. we got there early enough to have front row position, which i don't think i've ever done before. good vantage point for more video recording. the ~15 minute footage is split into two parts due to youtube's 10 minute limit.
more photos on my multiply album.