The Chinese New Year will be celebrated on 5 February all across Thailand and indeed the world. This year will be the Year of the Pig and it may come as a surprise to learn that approximately 14% of the Thai population is officially Chinese. Typically, the festival lasts for around 3 weeks every year from the 23rd day of the twelfth month to the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar year. Hence the reason why it is not on the same day each year.
The event is, of course, popular here in Pattaya, not least because of the large numbers of Chinese tourists who visit the city each year. Naklua, in particular, will be firmly focused on the celebrations with the streets adorned with red Chinese lanterns. The Chinese temple will naturally be one of the main focal points with food available and carnivals held on the main day of the celebrations with other activities being staged at Lan Po, again in Naklua.
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There will be a parade along Pattaya Beach Road on 5 February during the day with the usual stalls setting up early in the morning. As you move into the evening, more events will be taking place in Walking Street with King Seafood often welcoming a large number of visitors. Chinese New Year is obviously a major boost for many vendors who will see their takings substantially increase, even if it is just for a few days, in what has been a relatively quiet low season for many.
Central Festival will also have some artists performing in front of the main shopping centre. This will include dragons, dancers and traditional music. Food will also be available and it would be hard to imagine that there won’t be a large number of Chinese fireworks set off to help the event go with, well a bang! All of the Chinese restaurants will be celebrating the event, the more Western-themed restaurants usually offering set meals whilst the more authentic place tend to stick to something more original.
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Most of the major hotels will be offering package deals with perhaps the Amari being the most notable. They are offering a deal over the period and will be hosting their own events that are sure to be popular. The Mantra, at the northern end of Pattaya Beach Road, will be offering a wide selection of Chinese food expertly prepared by the chefs with booking advisable due to the high levels of demand. Again, it is a similar scenario at the Hilton at Central Festival and the new Centrepoint Hotel at Terminal 21.
Wearing traditional dress on the occasion is a must for the many Chinese nationals in the city with a good percentage of locals and tourists also entering into the spirit of things. In reality, Chinese New Year is an opportunity for family and friends to come together. Plans will be made for the forthcoming year in a similar manner to the New Year’s resolutions that are made by people from the west. Make sure that you join in the events and witness something that is quite unique.