Celebrating Chinese New Year in Bangkok
10 January, 2013
Yaowaraj, the official name of Bangkok’s Chinatown, enjoys celebrating the Chinese New Year. There are always street parades, with dragon dancers, firecrackers and many worshippers and families gathering. Banquets are available to treat people in the streets.
Other areas of Bangkok also celebrate the holiday with special promotions, such as discounts or free advice.
Traditions for Chinese New Year in Bangkok
While Chinese New Year is not a public holiday, the Chinese residents of Bangkok usually take time off work to be able to enjoy the time. New Year’s Eve is commonly for praying to the Gods or for pay respect to past ancestors. New Year’s Eve is also the time for families to join together and feast in a huge banquet. The adults will give red envelopes to their children. These envelopes are known as ang-pao and have pocket money. New Year’s Day is a day of rest for everyone, traditionally, but many have now started to visit their extended family to celebrate the holiday with them.
The Sounds in the Streets
There are legends that surround Chinese New Year. One of those is that Nien will appear. This is a mythical beast that ravages homes. To avoid this from happening, people must place food on the doorsteps and let off firecrackers. Placing red decorations on the doors also helps to keep the beast away.
With the myths in mind, the celebrations of Chinese New Year are exhilarating and dynamic. Many places, not just homes, now decorate in red with paper lanterns around and Chinese calligraphy on doors and window. Bangkok’s Chinatown literally turns red throughout the celebrations. There are many festivities happening, including acrobatic dancers and parades of the dragon and these should definitely not be missed.