Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

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Chinese New Year is a popular festivity in Thailand since there are many people with Chinese ancestors in Thailand. Actually, it is supposed that over half of ethnic Thai today are descendants of people who migrated from southern China about 1,000 years ago. In Thai, Chinese New Year is called ‘Wan dtrut jiin’ and it is also known as the Spring Festival.

Chinese New Year 2016

This year, Chinese New Year is on 8th February, this is when the year of the monkey begins.

Year of the monkey 2016 (photo: savingstips.com.ph)

Year of the monkey 2016 (photo: savingstips.com.ph)

The monkey is connected with the elements water and metal. Whereas water is connected with wisdom and danger, metal is related to gold and fortune. Thus the year of the monkey is supposed to be a year of financial events, flux and change. This also means that things can be accomplished but mainly by individual and personal efforts. Hence, this year might also be a good year to break free and to follow one’s passion and heart’s desire.

In Thailand, the centre of the Chinese New Year festivities are Chinatown on Yaowarat Road in Bangkok and Phuket Town. For instance,  the Old Phuket Festival takes place in the old Sino-Portuguese quarter of Phuket Town every year.

The shrine at Thien Fah Foundation during Chinese New Year. Samphanthawong District, Bangkok, Thailand (photo: Lerdsuwa, wikimedia.org)

The shrine at Thien Fah Foundation during Chinese New Year. Samphanthawong District, Bangkok, Thailand (photo: Lerdsuwa, wikimedia.org)

Traditionally, families clean their houses in order to get rid of any misfortune and bad luck so that there can be a fresh start into the new year. Hence, they make way for incoming luck and this is also called ‘Spring cleaning’.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, families have supper together and feast on Chinese dishes and delicacies like duck, chicken, pork and sweets. The night is ended with fireworks and on the following morning, children greet their parents by wishing them a happy new year. The children will then receive the so-called lucky money in red envelopes which are called ‘Ang Pao’. Usually, the married people will give money to the unmarried who are mostly younger people and children.

Lucky money in a red envelope

‘Ang Pao’ Lucky money in a red envelope

During the Chinese New Year festivities, the Dragon and the Lion dance are the most popular highlights. In particular, the dragon is supposed to bring good luck since he is believed to posses qualities like power, fertility, dignity and wisdom. Thus, the longer the dancing dragon is, the more luck and power he brings to people.

Chinese New Year decorations and the Merlion statue, Sentosa, Singapore (photo: wikimedia.org)

Chinese New Year decorations and the Merlion statue, Sentosa, Singapore (photo: wikimedia.org)

Finally, I’d like to share with you this entertaining video about 10 facts you might not know about the Chinese New Year 🙂

I wish you all a very happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!  (‘I wish you wealth’)

Yours, Sirinya

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