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.
Chiang Mai Flower Festival a Flower Full City
Winter in Chiang Mai is nothing like Europe: the unique and historical city is awash by vibrant colors ranging from the electric orange and lilac colors of the bougainvillea to the velvet blossoms of petunias, not to mention the vivid colors of orchids and roses. This superb floral blossom period is highlighted by Chiang Mai Flower Festival which, every year, will be celebrated on first week of February.
This superb event perfectly fits the scenic setting of Chiang Mai city and creates such a delightful sight, not to mention the laid-back atmosphere with breezy ambience. The annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival will feature an impressive showcase of traditional and contemporary floral art and Lanna cultural splendor. The flower procession will be accompanied by dozens of flower floats tastefully adorned. The parade will move on slowly and stop several times so there will be plenty of opportunities to take pictures of the colorful floats, pretty Thai dancers and hilltribe performers in traditional garments.
While the parade is the highlight of Chiang Mai flower festival, other fun activities take place throughout the weekend both at Tha Pae Gate (on the east side of the Old City) and Buak Haad Park. In the park, vendors cater to the hot and thirsty crowd, selling ice creams, hats and balloons, which add to the atmosphere. Horticultural companies make the most of the opportunity to promote their products, displaying everything from bonsai trees to hybrid roses and water features for gardens. Families settle in the shade for a picnic, while pop music blares from loudspeakers. One of the most popular sidelines is to dress up in hill- tribe gear for a souvenir photo among the beds of brilliant flowers.
Most visitors are content to watch the parade and join in some of the evening fun at either Tha Pae Gate or Buak Haad Park. A total of 222 varieties of flowering and ornamental plants will be on display during the three-day event.
Yi Peng lanterns lights of wisdom
Yi Peng is as old as Lanna heritage, it represents a close bond between Thai culture and water. This festival takes place on the full moon night of November when the water level is high and the climate is cooler.
Every year on the full moon of the twelfth month in the Thai Lunar Calendar, people go to the Chiang Mai City to take part in the Yi Peng sky lantern release.
The pictures of ten thousands of lanterns like stars brightly and shining soaring in the sky above Chiang Mai area. That is a sign of “Yi Peng” or “Loy Krathong” Festival in Lanna style which is a beautiful tradition as those who need to get a breathtaking and charming experience.
Full moon, brightly illuminated night and a sense of communal well being are the key to the appeal of the annual Loy Krathong celebration. In the Northern Thai province of Chiang Mai, which was once part of the ancient lanna Thai kingdom, the ritual of launching hot air lanterns (khom loy or khom yi peng) is a unique aspect of the region. Traditional belief has it that when the lantern is set adrift and floats away in the sky, so do all the troubles of the villagers. For the residents of Chiang Mai, the Yi Peng Festival is an exciting period where the whole city comes alive swathed in beautifully decorated lanterns made from paper.
Yi Peng takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar; hence, the exact date of the festival changes every year. In the Western calendar this usually falls in the month of November.