The Chinese New Year is one of China’s biggest annual celebrations and is widely celebrated across Thailand. Each year is represented by a zodiac animal, and 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
The 2018 Chinese New Year falls on Friday, February 16th, and kicks off a 15-day celebration with festivities that begin up to a week prior to the holiday and conclude with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month (which is usually a date in January/February depending on the lunar cycles that year).
The holiday brings celebrations filled with dragon dances, traditional food and dance, family gatherings and an abundance of red and gold decorations. Here are six places to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the Land of Smiles!
Bangkok’s Yaowaraj Road (February 16-17, 2018)
Revel in the biggest Thai celebration of the Chinese New Year in Bangkok’s Chinatown – on Yaowaraj Road. The streets turn into a sea of red and gold lanterns. Expect parades, fireworks, lion dances, dragon dances, food stands, appearances by Thai Princesses and much more during the historic and festive experience.
Phuket (February 21-23, 2018)
Ring in the New Year at the Phuket Chinese New Year and Old Town Festival – a combination of Chinese New Year Celebrations and the annual Old Phuket Festival hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office (TAT) and Phuket City. Enjoy colorful shows and traditional dances held at Phuket old town and Chalermprakiat 72 Punsa Maharachinee Park. During the evenings, become immersed in traditional food, music, art, and dance as several Old Phuket Town streets close to motorized traffic.
Chiang Mai (February 16-17, 2018)
Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Thailand’s northern hub, Chiang Mai, at the Chiang Mai Chinatown Chinese New Year Festival. Events are focused around the Warorot (KadLuang) Market by Ping River. The festival features the dragon and lion dance, performance of 1,000-hand Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy), a masked puppet show, Chinese opera, food stalls for Thai and Chinese food, Miss Chinatown Contest, Mister and Miss Youth Contest.
Trang (February 16-18, 2018)
Commemorate the Chinese New Year in Trang by sampling its famous local dishes, including the popular grilled pork. Celebrations, held in front of the Office of Trang City Municipality, Trang, include folk performances indigenous to Trang, cultural dances from China and vibrant street decor.
Nakhon Sawan (February 9-20, 2018)
Nakhon Sawan, incorporates Thai culture into its joint festival, celebrating the Chinese New Year and the Chao Pho-Chao Mae Paknam Pho Tradition. Expect spectacular parades along the main streets including the Chao Pho-Chao Mae Paknam Pho and Chao Mae Kuan-im (Guan Yin – Goddess of Mercy) processions, a lion dance, the Nang Fa parade, a dragon parade and acrobatic performances.
Ayutthaya (February 17-22, 2018)
Enjoy Chinese New Year entertainment in the ancient city of Ayutthaya. Once the trading capital of Asia, the city was a common destination for Chinese merchants and Chinese influence is still common in the region. Witness elaborate processions, cultural performances, a “Miss Chinese” beauty pageant, a variety of contests and shows, and pay respect to 108 holy deities invited from the Chinese shrines in 16 districts.
Outside of China, Thailand is known for hosting the biggest celebrations of the Lunar New Year. Will you be celebrating Chinese New Year in Thailand? Share your photos on social media and tag @ThailandInsider #ThailandInsider to show us!
For more information, visit TATnews.org or click here.