Chinese New Year

Today saw the start of the Chinese New Year. It is on days like these that you clearly see how many Thai people have Chinese ancestors. A lot. Just walk around the market area of Paknam and you will see many of the smaller shops closed for the holiday. It is fair to say Chinese people are very hard workers and this is the only time you will see the shutters of these shops closed during the day. For many people in Thailand, this weekend was dominated with the sound of firecrackers. These are extremely loud and are supposed to scare off evil spirits. I would think they did a  pretty good job.

I took these pictures this morning at a Chinese shrine in Suphan Buri (a couple of hours north of Bangkok). The place was packed. There must have been a thousand people. Judging by the number plates of cars in the car park, this must be a pretty important shrine as some people had travelled far to get here. We weren’t the only ones with Bangkok number plates. I didn’t get a chance to enter the building itself as there were so many people in the forecourt shrine. The air was chokingly thick with incense smoke. Not altogether unpleasant. People lit their big bunch of incense and then walked to the shrine with the sticks held up high. The tables in front of the shrine was jam packed with a feast fit for a king – or in this case, for gods and dead ancestors.


In The Nation newspaper this morning they had a few do’s and don’t for the Chinese New Year. I want to share a few with you:

  • Wear new clothes, preferably red.
  • Give red envelopes containing money to children.
  • Keep your rice bucket fall as it symbolises abundance in the coming year
  • Don’t wash your hair or sweep the floor as you might sweep/wash away your good luck.
  • Don’t use or carry sharp object as these will pierce any good fortune coming your way.
  • Don’t talk loudly, speak badly, say the number four  or mention death.
  • Don’t drop your chopsticks or break things.
  • Don’t borrow or lend money

A happy new year to everyone. See you at the next new year celebrations which is coming very soon!

6 responses to “Chinese New Year