Festive celebrations for the Chinese New Year are staged in areas where there is significant Thai-Chinese community around the kingdom.
By Percy Roxas.
Sino-Thai trade and cultural ties span the centuries. In times past, seafarers, marine merchants and traders sailed up the kingdom’s rivers with vessels laden with merchandise and precious goods including Chinese tea, silk, and fine porcelain. As trade between the two countries flourished, permanent settlements of peoples of various ethnic Chinese origins were soon established.
While the early settlers quickly adapted to their new way of life and adopted Thai ways, they also continued to maintain strong cultural ties and practiced the customs and traditions diligently observed by their forefathers. Of these, the Chinese New Year remains the most important of annual festivals on the Chinese lunar calendar observed in the various regions of Thailand. This year, it falls on Feb. 10, .but celebrations begin earlier than that (and end a little bit longer too) in depending on the place of celebrations.
Festive celebrations are typically staged in areas where there is significant Thai-Chinese community, such as Yaowarat in Bangkok, and the provinces of Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, and Suphanburi in Central Thailand; Chonburi/Pattaya on the Eastern Seaboard; Phuket and Songkhla (Hat Yai district) in the South, Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast, and Nakhon Sawan; and Chiang Mai in the North.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) spearheads the activities, and with the full support of the public and private sectors, and the active involvement of the Chinese Embassy, airlines, and other related organizations, they are held on such a grand scale these days.
A variety of contemporary elements have been incorporated through the passage of time to the Chinese New Year celebrations throughout Thailand, but they are still a reminder of the rich cultural, artistic legacy and wealth of history preserved in these ‘living museums.”
As in all Chinese communities around the world, Chinese communities in Thailand or communities with residents of Chinese ancestry celebrate this event with a big bang. Local rites and festivities around the country have acquired a definitive Thai-Chinese flavor, but the traditional Chinese features remain. Chinese New Year Celebrations will be held in Bangkok’s Chinatown (Yaowarat) and 11 major provinces. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
– Yaowarat District of Bangkok
– District of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya
RATCHABURI CHINA TOWN C
– Along the main city streets in the Ratchaburi provincial center SUPHAN BURI
– At the Suphanburi City Pillar Shrine, Suphanburi
– In Pattaya
– At the Hat Yai Municipality Public Park and Sanehanusorn Road, Hat Yai city center
– Downtown, Amphoe Mueang (provincial centre), Nakhon Sawan
– Along Kuang Meru Road., Chinatown in Chiang Mai
– Thao Suranari Monument, Nakhon Ratchasima provincial center (Amphoe Mueang)