Chinese New Year 2017 - Where Will You Be Celebrating?
Chinese New Year officially falls on the 28th January 2017
Chinese New Year historically has brought one of the most exhilarating celebrations to Yaowaraj, which is officially the Chinatown of Bangkok. The entire length of street comes to life with crowds of worshippers, exploding firecrackers, dragon dancers, and families of Chinese descent, Thais and Foreigners gather to partake in the street fanfare as well as enjoy sumptuous Chinese banquets. In other parts of Bangkok, Chinese restaurants and shopping malls roll out special Chinese New Year promotions, which range from discounts on goods and services to free feng-shui advice for their customers. In Thailand, the event usually takes place around January or February of every year. The exact dates are calculated from the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
Chinese New Year Traditions
Although not a public holiday in Thailand, members of Bangkok Chinese communities usually take at least one day off from work and engage themselves in various New Year activities. New Year’s Eve is the time to pray to the gods and pay respect to the ancestors. This is when the whole family enjoys a sumptuous Chinese banquet together at home. On the night of New Year’s Eve, adults will hand red envelopes called ‘ang-pao’, with pocket money inside, to their children as a New Year gift. On New Year’s Day, it’s time to rest and do absolutely nothing. Most people start visiting their extended families and relatives in order to exchange a few oranges as a way to wish them a Happy New Year.
The Sights and Sounds of Chinese New Year
Legend has it that on the night of New Year’s Eve, a mythical beast called ‘Nien’ would come to town and ravage people’s homes. To prevent this, the town’s residents put food on their doors, set off firecrackers and, as they discovered later, put on red attires as well as decorate their homes with all things red. Since then, Chinese New Year has become one of the most exhilarating times filled with dynamic sights and sounds. Shop and home owners of Chinese descent decorate their places with red paper lantern, Chinese calligraphy banners, and posters. The whole of Bangkok’s Chinatown turns red literally from beginning to end with street fanfares and cultural festivities, such as the dragon parades, acrobatic dances and firecrackers filling the streets with colour.
Where to Enjoy Chinese New Year 2017 in Thailand?
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that it is preparing to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2017 with a touch of Thainess. As part of this year’s Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF) at Bangkok’s Lumpini Park from 25th to the 29th January 2017 Mr Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “Thailand is known as the host of the biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year outside of China. This year also marks the 42nd year of Sino-Thai diplomatic relations as well as the 13th anniversary of cooperation between TAT and the Chinese Ministry of Culture in co-hosting the Chinese New Year celebrations here. By putting in a touch of Thainess, we want to ensure that Thailand’s celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year 2017 will be unique and memorable for both locals and for international tourists.”
During the 5 day festival in Lumpini Park, Zone 8 has been dedicated as a Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2017 with the best of the best from major Chinese communities across the nation. Local and international tourists visiting this recreation of Thailand’s Chinatown can pay respect to Chinese gods, learn about the different Sino-Thai traditions of the various Chinese communities, have their fortune read by famous Thai fortune-tellers, and taste famous Chinese dishes from different regions. They will also be able to enjoy the spectacular lightings and decorations as well as fun games and lucky draws.
The Ministry of Culture from the People’s Republic of China has also prepared special cultural shows from famous troupes and more than 100 performers as part of the wishes for the Year of the Rooster for the people of Thailand, including dance, musical, Kungfu, and acrobatic performances and puppet shows. Visitors will also have the chance to taste authentic Chinese dishes and desserts cooked by 20 famous chefs from Beijing.
The event is free to attend for everyone.
Major destinations nationwide where The Tourism Authority of Thailand is providing support to mark the Chinese New Year 2017 celebrations include:
Bangkok - Thailand Tourism Festival in Lumpini Park from 25 to 29 Jan. Lumpini Park is accessible from BTS Sala Daeng and MRT Silom/MRT Lumpini.
Pattaya - Chinese New Year 2017 on 28 Jan
Chiang Mai - 15th Chinatown Festival from 28 to 29 Jan
Phuket - 18th Chinese New Year and Old Town Festival on 2nd to 4th Feb
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya - Ancient Capital Miracle Chinese New Year 2017 on 29 Jan to 3 Feb
Pak Nam Pho, Nakhon Sawan - Chinese New Year, Nakhon Sawan, from 21 to 1 Feb
Korat - Chinese New Year at Chompol Road on 28 to 29 January
Korat - Glorious Chinese New Year at The Mall Park on 25 Jan to 1 Feb
Ratchaburi - Chinese New Year 2017 at the Ratchaburi National Museum on 25 to 29 Jan
Photharam - Chinatown at Photharam district on 10 to 14 Feb
Udon Thani - Chinese New Year 2017 from 27 to 31 Jan
Images used for this article are courtesy of the Bangkok Post.
A further update on this article can be found here:http://bit.ly/2jPDnhg