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Chinese Lion Dancers
Lion Dancers in the streets of China Town, Bangkok.
Photo © Valeska Gehrmann

___ Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year is the most important event of the traditional Chinese holidays. Chinese New Year or Spring Festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month and in 2016, it falls on the 8 February.

Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world in areas with a large populations of ethnic Chinese, like in Thailand. Thai regions with a significant Thai-Chinese community are in Bangkok (Yaowarat area), Nakhon Sawan, Songkhla (Hat Yai district), Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chon Buri (Pattaya district), and Phuket.

Chinese New Year, China Town, Bangkok

Chinese New Year 2016 celebrations and festivities for the coming Lunar Year of the the Monkey, will take place from 8 February - 11 February 2016 and will be staged on Yaowarat Road from the Chalerm Phrakiat Gate to Lampoonchai and along several roads in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown (Samphanthawong district).

The official route of parades and performances extends from Traimit Road, past Wat Traimit temple, with the world's largest solid gold Buddha image, China Town Gate (the King’s Birthday Celebration Arch; Chalermphrakiat Arch), Yaowarat Road to Ratchawong intersection.

But there will be performances in almost every road of China town, just follow the lion dancers or the performers of the dragon dance.

Chinese opera
Chinese opera performance at Chinatown, Bangkok.
Photo © Valeska Gehrmann
The Chinese New Year festivities are a feast for all senses. In the time of the festival you can not only see artistic performances of Lion and Dragon Dancers accompanied by fireworks going of; this year performers from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in Southern China will perform acrobatics and demonstrate the ancient art of Chinese mask-changing featured in Chinese operas. Performers from Shandong province will present a demonstration of Kung Fu fighting and martial arts.

Incence offering
Incense offering in Golden Shine Foundation, China Town, Bangkok. Photo © Valeska Gehrmann
In the temples of Chinatown you might see traditional religious ceremonies . People praying intense with burning incense sticks in their hands. You might be witness of the custom of ancestor veneration by burning symbolic paper objects and spirit money, to present the ancestors with all the goods they might need in the afterlife.

With open eyes you can see many superstitious customs to put the luck in the right way for an auspicious new year. The color red is the color of these days, because red is the most auspicious color, representing the element of fire. the upward motion in all aspects of life, a symbol of happiness, vitality, passion, and creativity; red is said to bring good luck, fortune and fame.
New clothing will be bought favored in red color and be worn the next days.
On the entrances new Red Banners made of red paper with wishes for abundance and luck will be placed.

Getting hungry by now? All over China Town there are food stalls and restaurants offering a tremendous selection of various Thai-Chinese style dishes for every taste.
But don't touch the food on open display at temples, homes and businesses, this food is offered to the ancestors of the families.

Map of Chinatown
Searchable map of Bangkok's Chinatown.

Learn more about Chinese Customs and Traditions and the Lunar New Year:
History of Chinese New Year
The origins of the Lunar New Year.
Days before the Chinese New Year
Preparations for the festival.
New Year’s Eve
Celebrations on Chukchi the last day of the old year.
15-Day Celebration of Chinese New Year
Day by day of the 15-Day Celebration of Chinese New Year.

External Link:
Chinese New Year Celebrations Around Thailand
Tourism Authority of Thailand's information about events in the various regions of Thailand where the Lunar New Year is celebrated.



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