Chinese New Year begins with the new moon and is the prime festival of the Chinese calendar. Two centuries ago tin mining drew thousands of Chinese labourers to the island of Phuket and their influence and has remained, making Phuket the province with the highest percentage of ethnic Chinese in the country. So it is no surprise Phuket’s Chinese community celebrate the New Year in grand fashion with gusto on Phuket.
To commemorate the Year of the Goat and festivities on Phuket will be held from the 15th to 17th of February. Activities start from 3pm and wind up around midnight. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket office (TAT) and Phuket City will combine the Chinese New Year celebrations with the annual Old Phuket Festival in Phuket Road. Festivities are centred around the old town: Thalang Road, Krabi Road, Dibuk Road and Phang Nga Road. These roads will be closed to traffic for three evenings of celebrations so think carefully about parking!
Expect to see light shows, folk dancing, canal boat rides and plenty of street food. Local homes and shop-fronts are decorated with flowers, platters of oranges and sweet fruit. The streets are garlanded with red banners and decorations to promote luck and happiness for the coming year. Last year included Chinese gymnasts and a Cinderella musical in Chinese. This festival was well worth visiting.
For more information contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office (TAT).