I made the mistake of going to my local Tesco Lotus yesterday to do a bit of grocery shopping. I had forgotten Chinese New Year 2013 celebrations would be kicking off in Bangkok, with most Thai-Chinese families spending a fortune on food and gifts to help herald in the Year of the Snake and, yes, Tesco Lotus was crowded.
Chinese New Year 2013 in Bangkok, or any other year in fact, is when Thai-Chinese families spend the New Year together. Family members travel from across Thailand, and sometimes even from overseas, so they can be back home with their family in time for the massive New Year celebrations.
Some will spend time in Yaowarat (Chinatown) so they can take part in the traditional Chinese New Year 2013 celebrations there. Others will just stay home, cook food and enjoy being in houses crowded with relatives again.
The main purchases at Tesco Lotus by Thai-Chinese families for Year of the Snake celebrations seemed to be enormous roasted chickens, shopping carts full of fresh fruit (particularly oranges, apples, grapes and tangerines), huge pieces of pork, Chinese pastries and gift baskets for people they may be visiting.
Some Thai-Chinese were also buying red and gold envelopes to use to hold the money they will give to the kids in their families, as well as other decorative paper products like red paper lanterns and streamers, which they’ll hang around their homes and family stores and restaurants.
Of course, fireworks will be going off all over Bangkok in the next few days as thousands of Thai-Chinese buy them every year. For me Chinese New Year 2013 in Bangkok began early, with someone in my neighborhood waking me up at 9:30 this morning with a round of loud firecrackers. Actually, quite a fun alarm clock to be woken up by.
Chinese New Year 2013, the Year of the Snake, in Bangkok will be celebrated mainly in Yaowarat (Chinatown). Although Thai families will begin their Chinese New Year celebrations today, Saturday, the real celebrations for the Year of the Snake will begin in Chinatown tomorrow — Sunday, February 10th — and carry over until Thursday the 14th February.
To join in the celebrations for Chinese New Year in Bangkok this year, head to Yaowarat Road in the middle of Chinatown and you’ll see them all around you.
Don’t forget to buy food at some of the thousands of food stalls and food shops in the area as well. The food that is made is really special for Chinese New Year and a treat you should not miss.