Chinese New Year 2010

After three years in Thailand we finally could catch the celebration in Bangkok China Town on Yaowarat Rd and we wish to share our experience of Chinese New Year Celebration.

It was very interesting to observe how locals do preparation to the main celebration. Two or three days before main date (14 of February) all Chinese places, like shops, restaurants and travel agencies, was cleaned. All family members were cleaning inside the shop, washing signs, streets and around. At the same time China Town was very busy, it was great shopping time. Most of the locals were buying presents, fruits, cloth and some religious staff. Fruits was bought as an offering and as a presents for friends and relatives. The funny thing, that pumpkin was extremely popular as a present too, so nice small decorative pumpkin, we could not stay out of madness and bought one.

Early in the morning February 13 locals started with fireworks, generous offerings to temples and spiritual houses and burning false money and some old stuff.

The main celebration began at 6 pm February 14, the same date as St. Valentines Day. Yaowarat road and some places around were closed for transport and extremely quickly filled with crowd: Chinese, Thais, foreigners, a lot of people and many were wearing red. Together with red Chinese lights whole China Town colored with red — it was spectacular.

As always Thai and Chinese celebrations share cultural performances with the market. Socks and glasses, t-shirt and plastic dragons, towels, slippers, funny key-holders and of course food. Food is everywhere, delicious food, different and surprising…

Near the main stage, where the cultural and historical performances was shown, few booths with Chinese entertainments were organized: Chinese chess game, Chinese tea ceremonial, Chines dresses and etc.

Walking by the Yaowarat road was complicated during to huge crowd, the situation went even worse when The Princes showed up. She was doing some kind of shopping/inspection in China Town, and moving from place to place. The security closed the road every time, and the crowd got stuck few times. Unfortunately it was prohibited to take pictures of The Princes, as one police guy told us. One time she was inspected the travel agency just nearby the place we got stuck with the crowd, so we can take a glimpse. We were surprised how she was looking — very ordinary, simple t-shirt (red of course), gray hair and zero make-up. Locals were very happy seeing the Princes celebrated Chinese New Year with them, we was happy that they were happy.

The celebration was continued on February 15 and even 16. Locals were visiting each other and doing presents. The sign on our favorite Chinese restaurant shows that they will start to operate tomorrow (17.02).

So, Happy Chinese New Year to all of you!!!