The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is preparing to organize the Chinese New Year celebration 2014 at Bangkok’s Chinatown on Yaowarat Road on 31 January and 1 February, from midday to midnight.
The Chinese New Year 2014 falls on 31 January, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse. Each year, a great number of domestic and foreign tourists take part in the celebration.
At Bangkok’s Chinatown, a variety of Thai and Chinese food will be offered to all visitors, together with several cultural performances, dragon parades, and lion dances.
Traffic will be closed from the King’s Birthday Celebration Arch to the Chaloem Buri intersection, from 10:00 p.m. on 29 January to 4:00 p.m. on 2 February. Visitors to the Chinese New Year festival are urged to take public transport in order to avoid traffic congestion.
Bangkok has been home to Chinese immigrants since before the beginning of the Rattanakosin, or Bangkok, period. After the establishment of Bangkok as the capital of Thailand in 1782, King Rama I ordered the construction of the Grand Palace as the new royal residence on the plot that housed a group of Chinese merchants. Chinese residents living there were asked to move to a new site, presently the Yaowarat area.
King Mongkut (Rama IV) expanded this area by building three roads running in parallel with the Chao Phraya River. The three roads were Sampheng, Yaowarat, and Charoen Krung. As a result of the road expansion, Chinatown grew rapidly with the construction of more roadside buildings.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is an old business center, covering a large area around Yaowarat and Charoen Krung roads. In this area, there are many small streets and alleys full of shops and wholesale and retail outlets selling all kinds of goods. Bangkok’s Chinatown is famous for its gold shops, restaurants, and food stalls offering numerous delicacies.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has lined up several celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year 2014 from 24 January to 4 February at various major destinations across Thailand. The Chinese New Year is widely celebrated in the provinces with large Thai-Chinese communities.
At Bangkok’s Chinatown in particular, visitors will experience the strong ties between the Thai and Chinese communities through the magnificent cultural performances that show the deep roots of Chinese culture in Thailand. This special occasion is normally opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn every year.
At Pak Nam Pho in Nakhon Sawan province, the celebration is scheduled for 24 January to 4 February, with spectacular processions, acrobatic performances, dragon parades, lion dances, and angel parades.
The celebration in Hat Yai, Songkhla province, will take place from 30 January to 1 February. The festival is also celebrated on a grand scale in other provinces, such as Suphan Buri, Ratchaburi, Chiang Mai, and Chon Buri.