Celebrate Chinese New Year 2020 in Chiang Mai
This year's Chinese New Year celebrations are coming up! The Year of the Rat will officially begin on the 25th of January 2020. Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is known for its dragon dances and is about getting good luck in the new year. Read on for some more information and tips about Chinese New Year celebrations in Chiang Mai.
Did you know Thailand has three (!) different New Year celebrations? Songkran of course you know; the super fun water festival of Thai New Year. Thai also celebrate 'regular' New Year on December 31st. But as with Asian countries hosting a large Chinese minority, Thailand also has a Chinese New Year celebration tradition. Chiang Mai has a large Chinese-Thai minority and attracts many Chinese tourists during the cool season, so you can expect a lively festival.
The Place to Be: Chiang Mai's Chinatown
Like many Asian countries, big cities in Thailand have a Chinatown and Chiang Mai is no exception. Marked by its traditional Chinese decorative gate on Chang Moi Rd., it is the area known as Kad Luang, also known as Warorot and Ton Lam Yai markets. Usually people just say 'Warorot market' to refer to this bustling bazaar of goods, both edible and otherwise. Warorot market is located right behind the Night Bazaar area, so between the two areas you can shop and eat 'till you drop. Don't hesitate to get lost inside the shopping centers themselves; the real bargains are towards the top floors! You will notice it’s not just Chinese shops here; the whole area is a melting pot of cultures and tribes!
Located right beside the Ping river, the markets have operated for over a century. They flourished during the rise of Chiang Mai-Bangkok river trade and is a favorite with locals. On the riverside street, there is a daily flower market. At night during the two-day Chinese New Year celebrations you can enjoy wandering here because the street is closed off for traffic. The locals decorate their homes and shops with the typical Chinese red lanterns, creating a unique vibe. You can also find two well-known Chinese shrines here: Guan Yu and Pung Tao Gong. Guan Yu is located right behind Warorot, and Pung Tao Gong is across from the riverside park, next to the flower-shops.
Dragons and Lions Dancing: The Parade
We expect the traditional Chinese New Year Parade to take place in the morning, on the 26th of January. The participants include dragon and lion dancers with their beautifully decorated puppets, other artists and a number of decorated floats. They gather at Tha Pae Gate around 8:30am and arrive at Guan Yu Shrine around 10am. City officials kick off the 'official' part of the celebration on a stage down the road, alongside cultural exhibitions and musical performances. During the evening, both here and at Tha Pae Gate you can enjoy Chinese cultural events such as dancing and beauty pageants.
When more information about this years' schedule becomes available, we will post it here!
Happy Chinese New Year!