Chinese New Year Chiang Mai
Chinese New Year Day is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. Festivities are marked by the auspicious Lion Dance, food fairs and dinners with family that last late into the night as well as the giving of gifts ‘Hong Bao’ to small children. Popular colors include red, orange and pink during this time and people decorate their homes with colorful lanterns and kumquat trees which they believe will bring them good luck for the year ahead.
Chiang Mai has its small Chinatown, Chiang Mai’s celebrations are small in scale in comparison to those that take place in Bangkok’s thriving Chinatown district. Nevertheless, the Wat Gate and Worarot Market area to the east of the city is inhabited by families of Chinese origin and boasts lively processions and festive food stalls at this time of year. Chinese temples dotted around the city become very active during the New Year celebrations. It was a colorful and enjoyable scene with many of those attending wearing red as they watched the parade and traditional lion and dragon dances wind their way through the streets.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity” Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.