Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014 Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year will bring celebrations all over the island next week, with cultural events,
Street Festivities
festivals and concerts and parties in Phuket Town. In fact Phuket Town will become a hive of activity, and at the time of year, people come from all over Thailand to visit relatives and celebrate this New Year; which incidentally is the year of the Horse.

The most important event on any Chinese calendar is of course The New Year and this year being the year of the horse, will be no different here in Phuket, firecrackers fireworks being let off at all times of hours over the period will keep you informed of its arrival.

There is a large Chinese Thai community here on the island and none more so than Phuket Town. Inside the town there is a small China Town. And it is in this area where most of the celebrations will be taking place: there will see other events around and about on the Island, but not in the same capacity as in Phuket Town.

When you go down to Phuket Town, be sure to check out the old Sino Portuguese architecture and it is that area of Dibuk, Talang, Yoawarat and Ranong roads where there will be a lot of action. Small concerts, art displays shopping stalls food stalls, more fire crackers, bars, the works, it’s a full on, all singing, all dancing New Year festival and no one does it better than the Chinese.  

Most of the main roads will be shut to traffic. There will be lots of people, and it’s a real pleasure to walk around the town without all the traffic clogging up everywhere, it’s a great atmosphere, we go every year.

Chinese New Year
All the old Chinese houses will be decorated, in red decorations and beautiful colourful flowers, and offerings of fruit and sweets to Buddha.

All the shops and restaurants will also be festively decorated, giving a complete sense of joy at the year of the Horse. It is a wonderful experience this time of year. The parties go on well into the night with plenty of live music been played and several outside venues.

Accommodation is hard to come by this time of year and you really need to book in advance, otherwise a long door knocking around the town will may be required. There are literately hundreds of places to stay in Phuket Town; from world class hotels down to the small guesthouses and backpacker establishment.

The food on offer by the local street venders is not to be missed, you should definitely take the time to sample as much of the local and Chinese dishes as possible. There is more food on offer at this time of the year, than there is even at Song Kran, Thai New Year (most are too drunk to cook).

As you walk along any of the main roads, they will be bordered by a vast array of small market stalls, all selling their goods from souvenirs to food to paintings to antiques.

All the food on offer is completely delicious, and you will find dishes that you may have never tried before. I recommend that you give it all ago, count the calories when you go back home.

There will be a troupe of 50 acrobats headlining this year’s festivities. The Henan Troupe will entertain us with their own adaptations of old Chinese Fairy Tales, it will be magnificent.  The shows will be free and be shown near the Provincial Hall throughout the week.

It is tradition to wear red at this time of the year, it is believed that what you wear at New Year sets the tone for the rest of your year. So wearing nice bright red colours give you the appearance of happy, bright and ready for what lies ahead.

It is common for children to be offered small gold and red, envelopes in side will be a few small coins for good luck.

Get ready for midnight, as when those firecrackers start to kick in, you will think that the world has exploded. Such is the racket they make, all adding to a unique blend of cultures coming together to celebrate of the great festivals of world religions.

Come down to Phuket Town, you will have the time of your life. So much to do, so much to see, eat and drink, it does not get much more exciting than this.

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