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Chinese New Year Celebration in Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)

 red-objects-at-yaowarat
Red Objects in Chinatown

This year, 2013,  is the year of the snake.Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is on 10th February in Bangkok Chinatown. It is not the same date in every year because it refers to the first day of the Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year is a big day of family celebration, as important as a reunion of family or Thanksgiving Day in western culture. Occasionally, during New Year, my family gives oranges or tangerines to relatives and friends for a good new year. Particularly, giving money in a red envelope to kids is a ‘must’ for this day.

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Dresses in Chinese Style

For Bangkok Chinatown in Chinese New Year, it starts from Odean roundabout, gate of Chinatown all the way on Yaowarat Road to Ratchawong intersection. Since it would be such a traffic jam near the Chinatown, I think the best way to get to Chinatown is to take MRT underground train, exit at Hua Lamphong Station and walk to the left to Odean roundabout. Then walk along the Yaowarat Road. Another good way is to take an express boat from BTS sky train at Saphan Taksin Station and get off at Ratchawong Pier. After that, walk along Ratchawong Road and turning right to Yaowarat Road on the intersection of Grand China Hotel.

Why Chinese New Year Celebration is so red?

I went to Chinatown today. I totally forgot that Chinese New Year is coming up in next two days until I have seen many red things shown on Yaowarat Road. There are red signs of New Year hanging along the road, red lanterns hanged between buildings, gold Chinese letters written in good wishes on red paper. Moreover, people are also looking for new dress in traditional Chinese style (red color, of course!)

Why red is so important for Chinese New Year?

Chinese like red color because it is a brightness, warming, power and glory. Meaning of red is also love, luck, fortune and brave. Chinese temples are mostly decorated with red, meaning of a sacred place. Chinese bride and groom wear red in wedding day, meaning of love. Moreover, Chinese use red color to wishes papers, joss sticks, firecrackers and small red envelopes for kids, because they believe that it will protect them from evils and inauspicious.

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Auspicious objects for Chinese new year

Good meaning for Chinese is not only is red stuffs but also is food and desserts that they put on table for celebration are meaningful, such as luckiness, happiness, wealth, long live and more. Although in the present we haven’t seen alive chickens killed on the street as the old time, whole boiled chickens, ducks and porks slide are used in order to be sacrificial offerings instead. ‘Sweet things’ in small pieces of nut coated with sugar and cut dried desserts are tradition of Chinese offerings as well.

Chickens-ducks-and-pork-slide
Ducks, Chicken and Porks

Please beware of your bag and wallet when walking among the crowded.
Happy the year of snake!

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