Thailand is so happy to celebrate the new year, that they do it three times! The first is the first of January, and the last is Thai New Year, Songkran, in April. In between those two is Chinese New Year, this year on January 28th. Many Thais have Chinese roots, nearly fourteen percent of the population, and are known as Thai Chinese. The influences of Chinese culture is evident in many areas in Thailand.
I did my part to help celebrate by decorating our door with the Chinese lanterns given to us by our tour guide in Xi'an last year.
Tim finally returned from China a few days ago, and he and I took a walk in the morning, venturing into the Royal Cliff Group complex not far from our place. This complex includes the Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall (PEACH), and some upscale hotels nestled along the gulf's edge. I can't imagine they ever fill so many hotel rooms; it's never busy with people when we go by. It does make for a nice walk, however, with lots of beautiful views.
|You can see our condo complex at top right|
In the afternoon, we visited Central mall to do some banking and pick up some more yarn for a crochet project I started while Tim was in China last week. The mall is always decorated for some event or another, and today Chinese lanterns and roosters adorned the open spaces in celebration of the Year of the Rooster - although this looked more like a cute little hen to me.
They even hung red Chinese lanterns on the altar at church!
We had dinner at Sunrise Sunset in the Siam Bayshore hotel, where we were presented with traditional red envelopes, Hongbao. They included a nice little description of the ritual. Our friend, Steve, who lived in Hong Kong, told us about how they presented red envelopes of money to their employees for Chinese New Year. These red envelopes are given not only for New Year, but also for weddings, etc.
|always lovely presentation here (this is Nasi Goreng, and Indonesian dish)|
Some were unimpressed by all the excitement.