The Chinese New Year
Not only the Chinese celebrate their Chinese New Year in February, but also the Thais, where a lot of them have Chinese ancestry.
The Chinese New Year, or “Trut Chin” in Thai, is a day of thanksgiving and a time for family reunion. It started when the Chinese migrated in the Ayuttaha period in 1350 to 1767 A.D. It is an important day for the Thais just like how Christians celebrate Christmas.
Trut Chin has been celebrated by the Thais for a very long time because of the Chinese’s great influence in the Thai culture. The two traditions have been integrated for centuries and an obvious way of saying it is the people’s big celebration of Chinese New Year.
The occasion is one of the most exciting events in Thailand. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese lunar month, usually February, just like the other Chinese-influenced countries. It is believed to be the start of spring, when the weather is excellent, when it is best to grow crops. Trut Chin is the time to pay honor and worship to the gods and ancestors for the good crops and harvests.
In Thailand, Chinese New Year is a big celebration in Bangkok, especially in Yaowarat Road where Chinatown is located, and also in Nakhon Sawan Province. The two places are the hearts of the festivity. From there you’ll see wonderful dragon float processions and beautiful lion dances that are famous symbols for the event.
Dragons, which are believed to be divine and mythical creatures by the Chinese, represent good fortune and prosperity while lions are the symbol of courage and solidity. In Nakhon Sawan, the celebration is perceived to be bigger than that of Bangkok that’s why thousands of local and foreign tourist flock to the province every year.
Although the event is observed nationwide, the celebration in the Nakhon Sawan province is the biggest because it lasts for 11 grand days. Usually there are stunning acrobatic performances like pole climbing and trapeze. Food and other incredible Thai and Chinese delicacies are also an attraction in the festival.
People who are unable to go to Nakhon Sawan will usually go to Yaowarat Road and see the parade of lions and dragons. There will be a lot of food stalls and attractions like entertainment and other activities. At night, fireworks display will color the dark skies as the Chinese believes that loud noise will keep the bad spirits away.