On Thursday 3rd February 2011 we will see the start of the Chinese New Year. This time it is the Year of the Rabbit. Already I have started to hear the crash of cymbals and the occasional firecracker. I was in Chinatown yesterday where I took these pictures. There were many people there buying decorations and festival sweets. As you can see, the colours red, yellow and gold are very popular. On Wednesday we will see a lot of activity outside many homes belonging to people who have Chinese ancestors. They will be offering food to their dead ancestors and burning paper. They will also set off firecrackers. However, Thursday is the real start of the new year.
In Bangkok, they will be closing a section of Yaowarat Road near Odeon Circle for three days, 3-5 February 2011. This is obviously the best place to go if you are in Bangkok as there will be cultural performances and lots of delicious Chinese festival food. However, they will also be having big celebrations on this day at Central World. Although there will be celebrations for Chinese New Year all over Thailand, the following are the main locations: Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Chon Buri (Pattaya district) and Ratchaburi in Central Thailand, Nakhon Ratchasima in Northeastern Thailand, Nakhon Sawan (Pak Nam Pho) and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, Songkhla (Hat Yai district) and Phuket in Southern Thailand.
Nakhon Sawan: “Amazing Nakhon Sawan Chinese New Year, Celebrate H.M. the King’s 84th Birthday”, 27 January – 7 February 2011. The activities will highlight Chinese culture from various parts of Nakhon Sawan like writing auspicious Chinese characters, fortune tellers, and Chinese food festival.
Nakhon Ratchasima: “Chinese New Year Korat 54 “Amazing Shanghai”, February 3 – 5, 2011, at the Thao Suranaree Monument courtyard and memorial park. The activities will highlight the decoration of Chumphol Road to make it look the same as Shanghai city, golden lion parade, Chinese food, souvenir shops, ‘Ung-Pao’ (money-envelopes), and lucky draws.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya: “5th Chinese New Year Celebration 2011 in the Ancient City, Ayutthaya”, February 4 – 8, 2011, 17.00-23.00 hrs, in front of Chao Prom Market, Naresuan Road and in front of the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Municipal Office. The activities include the opening ceremony, the contest of Miss Chinese New Year and kids and Chinese costume.
Suphan Buri: “Chinese New Year in Suphan Buri, Amazing 3 years of the Dragon Descendants Museum”, February 3 – 7, 2011, at the Descendants Dragon Museum. Activities include the opening ceremony, fireworks, performances of folk music, and Chinese dance.
Ratchaburi: “Ratchaburi China Town 2011”, February 2 – 6, 2011 at the Ratchaburi National Museum. Activities include the Ratchaburi China Town parade, water curtain show, fireworks, light and sound show, Mister and Miss Chinese New Year contest.
Phuket: “Chinese New Year Festival – Back to the Past of Phuket Town”, February 8 – 10, 2011, at the Chalermprakiat Park and Thalang Road. Activities will highlight the lifestyle of the Phuket people in the old days, local people wearing traditional Phuket apparel, the show from Suining city of the People Republic of China, signing the MOU for Twin cities between Suining city and Phuket.
Chiang Mai: “China Town in Chiang Mai”, February 4 – 6, 2011, 09.00-24.00 hrs at Trok Lao Cho. The outstanding activities will be the exhibition of the giant oranges basket, Kung Fu from Guangxi, fire dragon show and lion dance.
Chonburi (Pattaya): “Chinese New Year Festival in Pattaya City”, February 3 – 5, 2011, Pho Na Klue Courtyard, Banglamung district. For further information on activities, please contact the TAT Pattaya Office, Tel: 038-427667, 038-428750.
Songkhla (Hat Yai): “Chinese New Year Festival in Hat Yai”, February 2011 at Srinakorn School courtyard. For further information on activities, please contact the TAT Hat Yai office, Tel: 074-231055, 074-238518.
Although we have a large Chinese community here in Samut Prakan, we don’t really have any major celebrations. So, this weekend, I will be heading to Nakhon Sawan for their Chinese New Year festivities. Are you planning on going somewhere?