Chinese culture is filled with holidays and celebrations, the Lunar New Year being the biggest. Not only is it the largest mass movement of people in the world, it is also one of the globe’s most colorful and glamorous celebrations. This February 5th, let’s welcome the year of the Pig!
Thailand is known as being home to the largest overseas Chinese community in the world: therefore, the Chinese New Year is very important in the country. During this three-day festival (3-5 February), many of the rituals - like dragon dances and even the special foods eaten - are imbued with magical meaning.
This month, Chang Puak Magazine invites you to take a look at some of the most widely observed customs that frame 5,000 years of Chinese: history, mythology, cuisine, spirituality, business, and imperial reigns. Of course, the number of ancestral Chinese traditions is counted by hundreds but here are some traditions that you will see everywhere and might like to join in.
1.Seeing Red: The color scheme for the new year is red. For clothes, decorations and cards, this beautiful shade of scarlet is everywhere. The meaning of red color is luck and goes
back to an old story where a monster was afraid of noise and the color of blood.
2.Time of Renewal: Chinese New Year is also a time of renewal and a springboard to make fresh start. That is why it is also called the Spring Festival. A few days before the new year
is the big cleaning day, and Chinese people will only wear new clothes on the first day of the year.
3.Dancing with Dragons: The dance of the dragon is pretty famous. This symbol of prosperity, rain, wind, and emperors, winds its way through the streets to the rhythm of pounding drums
and crashing cymbals. The dragon is also believed to bring good luck to people.
4.Worship: Every Thai-Chinese family has an altar in their home. One day before the Chinese New Year, offerings are prepared early in the morning for the ceremony. All the sacrifices - including scrumptious dishes, desserts, and fruits - are displayed on the altar. After all family members have worshiped their ancestors one by one, they eat the blessed sacrifices in the evening - the most important meal of Chinese New Year.
5.Visiting Friends and Relatives: A special way for people to express good wishes to each other, and an important activity during the festival, is to visit friends and relatives - most of the time with a bag of oranges. In Chiang Mai, don’t miss witnessing Chinese New Year celebrations and traditions at Warorot market, which is also the local China Town with two beautiful Chinese temples. In the evening, the street along Ping river will be closed to cars allowing street vendors and celebrations. From February 17-24th, discover the beauty of Chinese Opera, at the Pung Tao Gong Ancestral Chinese Temple of Chiang Mai (Praisani Road -next to the flower festival at Warorot Market). The Chinese Opera will start every day from 5pm at the Chinese temple.