Emping Festival in Langkawi

by Mark

2 April 2012



By Kamila Delart

Laman Padi, the Rice Garden Museum in Pantai Cenang, hosted on Friday and Saturday (30. & 31. March) the Emping Festival. An initiative of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), the event was a celebration of local traditions and culture.


Preparing Emping - Langkawi 2012Named after a local delicacy, the event started with a demonstration of emping preparation: Made from semi-ripe padi, the rice is heated until the starch inside the rice kernels pops out of the husk. Pounded in a wooden mortar, the shells are removed and the rice flakes are blended with grated coconut flesh, tiny pieces of gula melaka (brown sugar), coconut water and a pinch of salt. Sweet and crunchy, the taste is beyond delicious – and one of the favorite treats enjoyed locally during breakfast or tea-time.

With each family having their own recipes, adding a few secret ingredients, there was a contest, with a judge panel selecting emping with the most scrumptious flavor. The visitors of the festival had the opportunity to participate subsequently in an eating competition attempting to gobble as much as possible within three minutes. To make it fun, the participants had to use chop-sticks. 

11 female-teams engaged in a football match while men participated in a volleyball competition and a bike race. To remain true to the theme of the event, the games took place in a rice field so quite a few participants ended up enjoying a refreshing bath :-).

Emping festival in Langkawi 2012There was a variety of activities for children. The smallest one took part in a colouring contest, while older kids whooped with joy when running after ducks, trying to catch with a traditional wicker-trap catfish, tilapia and snake-head fish, or dragging their pals on palm leaves through the paddy field. Fun and a veeeery wet and muddy spectacle!

The winners of each competition went home not only with great memories but also with diplomas, medals and various prices.

Emping festival Langkawi 2012

Welcoming on each day more than 1,000 guests, the EMPING FESTIVAL was a major success, with visitors engaging in entertaining games, and sampling a variety of traditional dishes available at countless food stalls.

Should you have missed this brilliant event, highlight in your calendar the 25th-27th May! Organized by LADA, the Laman Padi will host during this time the very first Langkawi Laksa Festival.


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