Happy Chinese New Year in Thailand!
Chinese New Year is a very popular festivity in Thailand because there are many people with Chinese ancestors in Thailand. In point of fact, over half of ethnic Thai today are descendants of people who migrated from southern China about 1,000 years ago (source: Wikipedia). In Thai, Chinese New Year is called ‘Wan dtrut jiin’ and it is also known as the Spring Festival.
This year, New Year is on 19th February, this is when the year of the goat begins. The festivities last for five days from 17th to 21st February.
The year of the goat is supposed to be a harmonious and calm year. In fact, I was born in the year of the goat 😉 Hence, I hope this will be a lucky, harmonic and successful year for me too!
Chinese New Year
Centre of the New Year festivities in Thailand are Chinatown on Yaowarat Road in Bangkok, Phuket Town and Chiang Mai.
Celebrations in Thailand & ‘Lions’ in front of Siam Paragon in Bangkok (photo credit: Bangkok Post)
Traditionally, families clean their houses in order to get rid of any misfortune so that there can be a fresh start into the new year. Hence, they make way for incoming luck. This is also known as ‘Spring cleaning’.
On the eve, 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.
During the New Year celebrations in Thailand, the Dragon and the Lion dance are the most popular highlights. In particular, the Dragon is supposed to bring good luck since the Dragon is believed to posses qualities like power, fertility, dignity and wisdom. Thus, the longer the dancing Dragon is, the more luck and power it brings to people.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) invites everyone this year to visit Chinatown in order to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Yaowarat. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration wants people to learn about the history of Yaowarat road on 19th and 20thFebruary 2015. Tomorrow, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the opening ceremony at Chalermphrakiat Gate, Odeon Circle, Yaowarat Road.
Dragon Dance (photo credit: Tourism Authority of Thailand)
Finally, I’d like to round off my post by sharing with you a recipe on how to make Rice Cakes for this occasion 🙂
Along these lines, I wish you all a very happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai! (‘I wish you wealth’)
By the way, the Thai New Year (Songkran) takes place in April 🙂