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  • The Chinese New Year

    Chinese New Year Tradition and Celebration
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    While Chinese New Year isn’t a public holiday in Thailand, Bangkok’s Chinese communities usually take at least 1 day off from work to enjoy time with family and friends. The eve of Chinese New Year is the time to pray and pay respect to ancestors. This is also when families enjoy dinner together at home. On New Year’s Day, parents will hand red envelopes called ang pao (containing money) to their unmarried children. Most people start visiting their extended families and relatives to exchange a few oranges and ang pao, as well as wishing them a Happy Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is one of the most exhilarating times of the year, with dynamic sights and sounds. Shopowners of Chinese descent decorate their places with red paper lanterns, Chinese calligraphy banners, and posters.

    Where to enjoy Chinese New Year in Bangkok?
    Bangkok Chinatown hosts street fanfares and cultural festivities, including dragon parades, acrobatic dances, and firecrackers. On Chinese New Year’s Day, Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (formerly named Leng Noei Yi Temple) on Charoen Krung Street is packed with locals praying to deities. The same applies to Yaowarat Road, Chakkrawat, Samphanthawong. Try your hand at siem see (Chinese fortune sticks), which is a way to ask the gods for guidance on how to solve a personal problem or for advice in general. So, do have a question in mind before you start shaking the bamboo container!

    Good to know about Chinese New Year
    Chinese New Year is a festival for all. Get into the spirit by dressing up in red. If you’re prepared to go all the way to observe the event, it’s a good idea to know about some unspoken rules of Chinese New Year’s Day. It’s not advisable to wear black or dark clothes, use sharp objects (including knives, scissors, nail cutters), argue with or curse at anyone, clean your house, speak of sickness and the dead, wash your hair, and break or trip on any object – locals believe that your fortunes in the coming year could otherwise turn into misfortunes.
    Last edited by Topgun; 08-20-2021, 09:42 AM.

  • #2
    Interesting facts about Chinese New Year tradition in Thailand

    Chinese New Year is one of the biggest festivals in Asia. While most Westerners experience ‘Chinese New Year’ by watching parades in Chinatown and having a great meal, its traditions vary from country to country. Around 15% of the population of Thailand are believed to be descended from Chinese settlers who arrived in Thailand in the early nineteenth century. As a result, Chinese traditions such as the Lunar New Year (Wan Trut Jin in Thai) have been ingrained in Thai society. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese communities in Bangkok would come alive with music, dancing, and magnificently illuminated lanterns that colour the skies crimson during the Chinese New Year festival. Despite the fact that large celebrations are banned this year to avoid the spread of Covid-10 infections, families will continue to practice their rituals. Some of the rituals include exchanging gifts, family union dinner and red decorations. Chinese New Year 2022 will fall on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022, beginning a year of the Tiger. From Chinese New Year’s Eve through the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the lunar year, the festivities typically span around two weeks. Continue reading to learn more about the Chinese New Year celebration in Thailand.

    Interesting Facts about the Chinese New Year

    Chinese New Year celebrations were born out of myth and fear
    According to Chinese legend, the wild beast Nian (which is also the word for “year”) were attacking and killing villagers at the beginning of each new year. One day, people were able to scare the beast away by loud noises and dazzling lights. The monster Nian never showed up again and thus Chinese New Year celebrations were born.

    People exchange red envelops and distributes oranges
    “The Thai-Chinese are familiar with the red envelopes known as “ang-pao” or “hóngbo.” Red envelopes are generally given to unmarried children by their parents or elders. The red envelopes are also known as “ysuqián,” which means “money to ward off bad spirits.” Furthermore, the majority of people begin visiting their extended family and relatives to share a few oranges and ang pao and to wish them a Happy Chinese New Year.

    Red everywhere
    Thai-Chinese people believe it is good luck to wear red or brightly-coloured shades on Chinese New Year. You will also see red decorations everywhere. This is because people believe that the red colour is meant to ward off evil spirits and bring wealth and good energy. Red lanterns adorn the streets, while red couplets and New Year images adorn the doors.

    Traditional dragon dance and fireworks show
    People believe in exploding firecrackers to scare away demons. There would be colourful traditional dances performed outdoors with the accompaniment of drums and cymbals, sometimes as a street parade. Yoawarat Chinatown is the main place in Bangkok where all the major events were held. The streets become beautifully decorated with red lanterns and colourfully-dressed dragon and lion dancers. The dragon appears in many Chinese cultural festivities because the Chinese believe they are descended from the mythological beast.

    Not allowed to sweep or clean house
    According to an article published by Chulalongkorn University in 2020, “Thai-Chinese people believe that sweeping or cleaning the house during Chinese New Year will sweep their luck and fortune away, and money will leave the house. However, there is a day for sweeping and cleaning to make room for the good luck that occurs before the Spring Festival.

    People believe that you should not argue or curse anyone during this time
    According to superstitions, saying nice things and being kind will bring joy and luck to you during Chinese New Year. People believe that swearing, saying words with negative meanings such as death, poverty, ghosts during the festival will bring you bad luck all year long. Furthermore, the word “sì” for “4” is also considered a bad word since it sounds similar to “death” in Chinese.

    Families gather for a reunion dinner
    Families gather on the eve of Chinese New Year to have a lavish supper that always includes pork, duck, fish, chicken, and, most importantly, dumplings! This is the most significant meal of the year, and it is known as the reunion dinner. Several generations of large families gather around round tables to enjoy the food and time together. Most families would make a variety of symbolic “lucky” foods, but the one delicacy that is unquestionably the most popular is ‘Jiaozi,’ or wealth dumpling. Before the New Year’s feast, many families enjoy making the dough and fillings for dumplings together.

    Offering sacrifices to Ancestors
    Many Thai-Chinese visit their ancestors’ graves the day before Chinese New Year’s Day, offering sacrifices to them before the reunion supper. This religious practice is based on the belief the deceased family members have continued existence and will bless the family in return. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Thai-Chinese people feel more distant from their ancestral homeland, and hence the ceremony of remembering the past and previous relatives have greater weight here than in China.

    So, here are some fascinating facts regarding Thailand’s Chinese New Year tradition. Although the Chinese New Year event has been cancelled this year due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the street will still be decorated with beautiful lights and Chinese lanterns. People will still go and visit Chinese shrines and worship, and pay respect to their ancestors as normal.


    • #3
      Chinese New Year 2022: Ring in the Year of the Tiger with a quiet roar

      The Lunar New Year, like its solar counterpart on January 1, is a special time for people to let go of the past and embrace a new and brighter future. The date of Chun Jie (Spring Festival) changes from year to year depending on the Chinese lunar calendar, which determines when the 15-day festival will happen between January 21 and February 20. This year, celebrations begin on February 1, ringing in the Year of the Tiger — or ‘Thaiger’ for all you fans out there — and kicking off 2 weeks of festivities. It ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month, during the full moon.

      Unfortunately for those in Bangkok, authorities have again canceled the popular festivities on Yaowarat Road (i.e. China Town) because of the pandemic. So there will be no fireworks or parade this year. But you’re still likely to hear locals cracking fireworks at the break of dawn and there are plenty of lantern displays to see in and around the city. Or you can visit the nearest shopping mall for colorful displays of Chinese lanterns and decorations to capture the Spring Festival spirit and snap an auspicious pic for IG.

      Also known as Chinese New Year, or CNY for short, it’s celebrated all over the world, including Thailand with its large population of Chinese immigrants and diaspora. The tiger is the third of the Chinese Zodiac’s 12 astrology signs, and like every other year, the Year of the Tiger occurring once every 12 years. The Lunar New Year celebrates the change from one zodiac sign to the next, with last year’s sign being an ox.

      During the festival, Chinese families will visit their neighbors to wish them blessing for the new year and give gifts of traditional Chinese delicacies, such as jiaozi (dumplings) and tang yuan (glutinous rice balls filled with black sesame paste), which represent tuan yuan or family gathering and completeness. It’s common to be greeted with phrases like, “Xin nian kuai le!” (Happy New Year!) and, “Xin nian ping an!” (Have a peaceful New Year!). If you’re a young married couple without children, you’re likely to hear, “Zao sheng gui zi!” (May you have a son soon!).

      So what are the benefits of being born in a tiger year? Tigers types are regarded to have strong personalities. They’re good leaders, risk takers and crave attention. They’re also known for their high self-esteem, and are independent and brave. Just like, you guessed it, a tiger. “The tiger is a ferocious animal and is referred to as baishou zhi wang … or ‘the king of one hundred beasts,’” writes Xiaohuan Zhao, associate professor at The University of Sydney, in an insightful blog post about the Year of the Tiger.

      Past tiger years included 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950 and 1938. So if you were born during those years (except for early January, of course), chances are you’re a tiger and didn’t know it. It’s also said that lunar year tigers should avoid marrying snakes and monkeys. But, “They will make a good match with people who were born in the years of Pig, Horse and Dog,” advises professor Zhao.

      According to legend, the tiger replaced the lion in the Chinese zodiac after winning a series of heavenly battles that earned its unique facial stripes — three horizontal stripes connected with one vertical stripe that reads as the character “wang” or king on its forehead. But perhaps the lion has had the last roar. Although you won’t find him celebrated in the zodiac rotation once every 12 years, you can still see plenty of lions during annual Lion Dance performances, especially this year as Chinese all over the world celebrate its striped cousin from the forest. Practically speaking, the tiger is native to China while the lion is not, which is likely the real reason for its spot on the zodiac.

      Of course, you’re likely to see a lot of red during this time, such as red lanterns, red shirts, red dresses — even red socks and underwear. The colour red is seen as good fortune in Chinese culture and is believed to fight off bad luck and evil spirits. Family feasts and gatherings will be brimming with red, from red apparel to red decorations to red food, and many families will paste red paper chunlian or spring couplets on their doors to attract blessings and good fortune.

      Traditionally, older family members will give hongbao or red envelopes with money to children as gifts. The amounts are expected to be quite high, depending on age and status, and are a good way for elders to invest in the younger generation, who relish the chance to top up their piggy banks and save money for a the future.

      Praying to deceased family members is another popular tradition that plays an important role in ancestor worship among Chinese diaspora in Thailand. Some extra superstitious people even burn paper ‘money’ to send their loved ones in the afterlife (thought we’re not sure why departed souls would need fake cash).

      The colours blue and green, along with auspicious numbers 1, 3 and 8, are also believed by some to bring give you much needed success and luck in the Year of the Tiger. Meanwhile, it’s advised to stay away from the number 4 and the colour white, which are both synonymous with death. But not every Chinese abides by such superstitions.

      Make sure to check your nearest China Town for any lion dances, parades, inflatable “lantern” sculptures and firework displays. If nearby public festivities are cancelled again this year due to the pandemic, don’t fret; you can still partake in the best tradition of all — eating delicious Chinese jiaozi and tang yuan!


      • #4
        Exploring the Chinese New Year traditions in Thailand

        Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, has been celebrated in Thailand for centuries by the country’s Chinese-Thai community. The festival typically takes place in January or February and is a time for families to come together, clean their homes, and decorate with red lanterns and other symbols of good luck. Traditional activities include lion and dragon dances, fireworks, and the giving of red envelopes filled with money to children. Chinese New Year is also an important time for businesses, as it is considered a peak shopping season. In recent years, Chinese New Year celebrations have become more popular among the general population in Thailand and are now celebrated by people of all backgrounds.

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        Here are the Chinese New Year traditions in Thailand

        Wearing New Clothes
        Many Thai people will purchase new clothes in celebration of Chinese New Year – usually red or gold – to symbolize luck and prosperity in the new year. Dressing up for Chinese New Year is an exciting tradition for many Thai people! To bring in luck and prosperity for the upcoming year, Thais often sport bright red and gold outfits. Red is believed to be the color of joy and gold is a sign of wealth and good fortune. Some Thais even choose to wear traditional Chinese clothing to honor their ancestors and pay their respects. Whether it’s a new dress, shirt, or suit, wearing something new on Chinese New Year is sure to bring in lots of luck and good vibes!

        Red Envelopes
        Red envelopes have been a long-standing tradition in Chinese culture during the Chinese New Year celebration. Each year, families will exchange red envelopes filled with “lucky money” as a way to bring good fortune to their loved ones in the upcoming year. The red envelope is a symbol of luck and good fortune, and the money inside is a representation of a wish for wealth and prosperity. Giving and receiving red envelopes is a fun and exciting event that families look forward to every year. The red envelopes will often be decorated with traditional Chinese symbols such as dragons and phoenixes, and can be either hand-made or store-bought. On the day of the Chinese New Year, family members exchange red envelopes and wish each other luck for the upcoming year. It is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones and build strong relationships. The lucky money is often used for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings, or for everyday expenses such as groceries and bills.

        Decorating Houses
        Houses are decorated with bright and colourful decorations to signify the start of the new year. For Thai Chinese New Year, houses are decorated with festive decorations such as paper lanterns and red banners. Red is the primary colour used in decorations, as it is believed to bring luck and prosperity during the new year. Red envelopes are also hung outside the house to bring luck and wealth. Brightly coloured paper cutouts of dragons, phoenixes, and flowers are also used to decorate the walls and windows. Traditional Chinese symbols such as the Chinese character for “good fortune” or “longevity” are often written on the walls or hung outside the house. The house is also filled with festive music and the aroma of incense. On the day of the new year, families gather to share a meal of symbolic dishes such as fish, dumplings, and noodles. This is a time for families to gather and celebrate the coming of the new year.

        Praying at Temples
        During Chinese New Year, Thai people flock to temples to celebrate the start of the New Year. The temples are filled with the sounds of traditional instruments and the smell of incense. Prayers are offered and offerings of food, flowers and incense are made to honor the gods and ancestors. After prayers, people exchange gifts, pass out red envelopes and wish each other a happy and prosperous New Year. The temples are beautifully adorned with colorful decorations and lanterns, and the atmosphere is filled with joy and excitement. People often take part in traditional activities such as dragon and lion dances, which bring luck and good fortune. Thai people also take part in religious ceremonies such as chanting and meditation to bring peace and harmony. At the end of the celebration, people gather around the altar to give thanks and share in the blessings of the New Year.

        Eating Special Foods
        Traditional Chinese New Year foods are served during the celebration, such as noodles for longevity and oranges for wealth. Thai people love to celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional dishes that are believed to bring luck and prosperity. Popular dishes include noodles for longevity and oranges for wealth. To make the celebration even more fun, Thai people add their own unique twist to the dishes by adding a variety of spices and flavours. For example, they might add chili peppers to the noodles to give it a spicy kick, or they might make a sweet-and-sour orange dish using tamarind, fish sauce, and sugar. Other traditional dishes include steamed dumplings, steamed buns, and sticky rice cakes. No matter what dish is served, Thai people enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year with festive dishes that bring luck and prosperity to the New Year.

        Lighting up firecrackers is a mesmerizing tradition at Thai Chinese New Year celebrations. As the clock strikes midnight and the New Year begins, the sky is ablaze with the brilliance of thousands of firecrackers. The loud explosions that can be heard for miles around are said to be a signal to the gods and spirits, asking them to send prosperity and luck to the community. The lightning-like flashes of color, along with the smell of gunpowder in the air, create an atmosphere of joy and celebration. The firecrackers are not just a fun way to celebrate, they also have a deeper significance. They are meant to be a reminder that the gods are watching us and that any evil spirits that may be lurking around should be scared away. It is believed that the loud noise of the firecrackers will drive away any bad luck and bring in a year of good fortune. As the night wears on and the firecrackers continue to light up the sky, it is a reminder that we should all strive to be better people in the coming year and work hard to achieve our goals.

        Dragon and Lion Dances
        The dragon and lion dances are a popular tradition in Thailand during the Chinese New Year celebrations. The intricate and energetic moves of the dragon and lion dancers represent the power of the mythical creatures to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck and prosperity. In many cities across the country, dragon and lion dances are often seen in the streets and markets, with a group of dancers in colorful costumes and accompanied by the sound of drums and cymbals. The event usually ends with the performers tossing out candy to onlookers, a symbol of good luck and fortune.

        Family Reunions
        Chinese New Year in Thailand is a time for families to come together and celebrate the start of a new year. A time of joy and cheer, families gather around to feast on traditional dishes, exchange gifts and most importantly, reconnect with one another. Relatives from near and far travel to Thailand to be part of the festivities, creating a chance for families to reunite and strengthen bonds. The atmosphere is filled with laughter, music, and the smell of freshly cooked food. The festivities usually last for several days, giving families ample opportunity to catch up and spend quality time together. The joyous atmosphere of Chinese New Year in Thailand is a time for families to come together and create lasting memories. It’s a time to appreciate the importance of family and the bond that unites them.


        • #5
          Chinese New Year festival lights up city in northern Thailand

          The Chinese New Year festival is lighting up one city in Northern Thailand. Last night, a large crowd gathered in Nakhon Sawan to watch fireworks, dragon and lion dances, and pole-climbing. The theme for this year’s Chinese New Year festival in Nakhon Sawan is ‘the dragon flies toward the sky and the flowers bloom.’ The festival along the Chao Phraya riverbank features art and cultural exhibitions, vendors selling local specialities, and other exciting performances and activities. The New Year celebrations run every night in the city until January 26, Nation Thailand reported. The festivities will culminate on the night of January 24 with the Chao Pho-Chao Mae Pak Nam Pho procession, which is expected to draw over 100,000 visitors. On January 25, there will be a daytime street procession with dancing dragons and lions. Like many areas of Thailand, Nakhon Sawan has a large Chinese-Thai population eagerly waiting to celebrate Chinese New Year.

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          Giddy communities across Thailand are gearing up for Chinese New Year, which falls on Sunday, January 22. The New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, has been celebrated by the Chinese-Thai community for centuries. Traditional activities include lion and dragon dances, fireworks, and the giving of red envelopes filled with money to children. Chinese New Year is also an important time for businesses, as it is considered a peak shopping season. In recent years, Spring Festival celebrations have become more popular among the general population in Thailand and are now celebrated by people of all backgrounds. Many Thai people will purchase new clothes in celebration of Chinese New Year – usually red or gold – to symbolize luck and prosperity in the new year. Red is believed to be the colour of joy and gold is a sign of wealth and good fortune.

          On Sunday night, Phuket’s main city district launched the ‘Phuket Lantern Festival 2023. Dancers dressed in colourful outfits performed traditional Chinese dances at the opening ceremony.