This month marks the peak season for the harvest of Royal Lotus!
Royal Lotus is a common water-based plant and can be found growing across Thailand, and South East Asia.
Why is it called “Royal Lotus” in Thailand? There are two possible reasons:
The Thai for Lotus is Bua Luang, which translates as Royal Lotus, but the word “Luang” applies to all things in the higher echelons of Thai society, and implies “lordliness”
Back in the 14th century there was a lady called Naang Noparamart who worked at the Royal Palace in Sukothai. She loved to make little lotus-shaped "Krathong" with banana leaves and float them on the water with a candle, incense, and other decorations as a special present to Buddha. One day the King came to the river to judge the water lanterns and awarded Naang Noparamart first prize. He then decided that once a year there should be an official celebration where lotus-shaped banana leaves, like the ones Naang had made, would be floated down the river on full moon. This festival is still celebrated each November in Thailand today, and is called Loi Krathong.
The stems of Royal Lotus are used in a well know southern Thai soup called Gaeng Som Sai Bua"(Thai: แกงส้มสายบัว, Lotus stem sour soup) and "Geang Kati Sai Bua"(Thai: แกงกะทิสายบัว, Lotus stem in coconut milk curry).
The roots of Royal Lotus (Rhizomes) are used in a stir fry “Pad Rak Bua” (Thai: ผัดรากบัว), and a dessert “Kanom Rak Bua” (Thai: ขนมรากบัว).
Royal Lotus is harvested from the end of July until early September with August marking the peak of the season.
The first thing to note about harvesting the Royal Lotus flower is that the process is all done by hand. This is due to the delicate nature of the flower. When the growers are ready to pick the flower, they only trim the main stem - they do not take it up by the root! This means that the floating "pad" will be able to grow a new stem with a fresh blooming flower next season.
The fragrance of Royal Lotus promotes relaxation and concentration, and in Thailand the flower is thought to promote knowledge and wisdom.
Are you local?
To celebrate the Royal Lotus Harvest, we are offering an in-store special for those who shop in our Gastown store! Purchase ANY Royal Lotus scented product & get a FREE gift in ANY scent of equal or lesser value!
Find us at 209 Abbott Street in the heart of Gastown.