Sawasdee torn chao (good morning) all!
Have you noticed the sudden burst of red colors in shopping malls, local attractions, and even in people’s clothing? Taking a break from mourning attire, many Thais wore red this past weekend to celebrate Chinese New Year.
People of full or partial Chinese ancestry are known as “Thai-Chinese” or “Thai-Jeen”. Believe it or not, more than 15% of the population are made up of Thai-Chinese citizens! Some family celebrate 3 new years! Thai, Chinese, and the Global New Years. It is without doubt one of the brightest, and most delicious celebration you can join in.
Many Thai-Chinese pass down their own traditions. Some of these includes praying to the gods and paying respect to their ancestors. Families enjoy sumptuous dinners, with adults giving red envelopes called “aung-pao”, filled with pocket money for younger relatives as a gift.
Public places each year will hire acrobats to perform shows, including the famous dragon dance. You can witness everything from worshippers, exploding firecrackers, to grand dinner banquets all in one day! A few places with attractions to still explore include The Emquartier. Right off Phrom Pong BTS station, you’ll be greeted by a massive metallic dragon. The “Emperor Dragon’s Golden Spells” will be on display until March 15th.
Just like other countries in the world, Chinese New Year comes with its own festivity cuisine. You can experience these at Yaowarat, namely our China Town. Make sure to try some desserts only made once a year. “Kanom Tuay Foo”, or “overflowing cake” is a sweet, delicate, melt-in-your-mouth pastry that symbolizes ever increasing prosperity. “Tua Tud”, or “peanut sticks” are sticky, sweet, and crunchy -they symbolize gold bars, and wealth. Many more treats and savory delicacies are sure to delight you at Yaowarat.
Interestingly, there are also a few things you shouldn’t do the day after Chinese New Year. Some of these superstitions include not cleaning, no cutting your hair or nails, and not wearing black clothing.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Photo Credit: The Emquatier