Chinese New Year Festival
Chinese New Year, also known as the "Spring Festival", is celebrated at the turn of the traditional Chinese calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar. The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. As many know, every year is represented by a zodiac animal sign. While the last was the "Year of the Rooster", the present 2018 is the "Year of the Dog" and was officially celebrated on Friday, February 16th. The next 2019 will be the "Year of the Pig" and will be officially celebrated on Tuesday, the 5th of February. Celebrations traditionally run from the evening preceding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. Even though it isn't a public holiday in Thailand, as more than 14% of the population refer to themselves as Thai-Chinese, the Spring Festival is celebrated all over the country. Everywhere there is a Chinese community, all the streets, the windows and doors of houses and shops are decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". Other activities include lighting firecrackers, fireworks, and costume parades sprinkled with perfume and incense, as well as giving money in red paper envelopes.
Where to See Chinese New Year Festival - Although it isn't an official holiday in Thailand, Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout the country and not just by those who can claim Chinese heritage. Parades and street festivals are hosted in different areas of Thailand. Some of the most colourful and charming events take place in Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Phuket, Trang and Udon Thani. However, Chinese New Year's most fascinating party takes place in Yaowaraj, the Bangkok's Chinatown, where lives the largest Chinese community across Thailand. The entire Yaowaraj Road, but also the other streets of the district, comes alive with the whole community that flock into the streets to celebrate. There are parades of people in colourful costumes, dragon dancers and band, who barely can play music over the explosions of thousands of firecrackers.