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Year of the Dragon fires up

posted Jan 10, 2012, 8:34 PM by Dong Travel   [ updated Jan 10, 2012, 8:35 PM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]
Thailand’s Chinese New Year celebrations will focus on 10 destinations, 19 to 27 January, according to the latest Tourism Authority of Thailand update.

The main celebrations fall on 23 January when  Chinese, worldwide, welcome the Year of the Dragon, although the holiday runs for almost an entire week from 19 to 27 January. TAT says many of the event features will be linked to royalty. There are activities to honour HM the King’s 84th’s birthday anniversary, HM the Queen’s 80th birthday anniversary that starts with her birthday 12 August 2012 and HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s 60th birthday anniversary (28 July 2012). He was born in the year of the dragon and his birthday is the 5th 12th-year cycle under the traditional Thai calendar.

Adding more weight to the festival, Thailand and China are celebrating the 37th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Thailand. There are elaborate performances planned supported by China, which is sending dancers and acrobats to tour the country.

The 10 venues identified by TAT are linked to Chinese communities in various towns and tourist resorts. The activities are not re-engineered for tourists,but Chinese communities welcome visitors to join in authentic activities.

TAT recommends the following festival venues:

Bangkok, 23 January, at Chinatown’s Odeon Roundabout on Yaowarat road, Samphanthawong district;

Chiang Mai, 23 to 24 January, on Lao Jaou Street between Tha Pae and Chang Moi road;

Nakhon Sawan, 16 to 27 January, at the market close to the Chao Phraya River on Kosi Road, Muang district;

Ayutthaya, 21 to 22 January, in front of Ayuthaya Tourism Centre on Rojana road, Pratoo Chai sub-district and 24 to 30 January in front of Chaophrom market on Naresuan road, Ayutthaya;

Suphan Buri, 23 to 29 January, at Dragon Descendants Musuem, Muang district, Suphan Buri;

Nakhon Ratchasima, 21 to 24, January, at an open space near the statue of Thao Suranari, Muang district, Nakhon Ratchasima;

Ratchaburi, 22 to 26 January, in front of Ratchaburi National Museum, Muang district, Ratchaburi province;

Song khla, 21 to 25 January, inside the Srinakorn Foundation School, Hat Yai district, Song Khla province;

Phuket, 28 to 30 January, in Phuket Old Town on Thalang, Phang Nga and Thepkasattri road in Muang district, Phuket province.

In Bangkok, the festivities will be officially opened by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at Chinatown’s Yaowarat district with cultural and dance performances brought in from China. The show continues to visit all 10 designated venues around Thailand.

Other community activities include a food and products fair, local cooking demonstrations, Chinese New Year processions as well as exhibitions of Chinese lifestyle and displays of important places in China.

TAT has identified Chinese New Year as one of the distinct features of Thailand’s vibrant Chinese communities. The Chinatown experience is very similar to what can be enjoyed in older and traditional districts in Hong Kong and Singapore, albeit on a smaller scale. However, there are a variety of towns in Thailand that have genuine Chinatown districts usually located in older areas near railway stations or traditional markets that appeal to urban Chinese living in modern cities around Asia.

Last year, the festival attracted 616,430 visitors and this year TAT expects a 3% gain to reach 634,922 visitors drawn by this popular annual festival.

By identifying Chinatowns across the country, TAT hopes to demonstrate that when you travel to a popular tourist destination in Thailand you will not be far from a genuine  Chinese New Year festival to add a familiar and traditional element to your holiday.


Chinese New Year also known as Lunar New Year usually falls in January or February. This year, it falls on 23 January, but religious and family celebrations can last as long as 15 days, which will mean some districts will be in a holiday or making merit mood until 6 February. For further information on celebration contact, TAT call centre 1672.The festival is celebrated in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Hong Kong and Singapore see an exodus of holiday makers as soon as offices and shops close. Both destinations are remarkably quiet during the week-long festival, while Thailand gains as thousands of Chinese New Year holiday makers spend time at their favourite beach destinations or visit Bangkok for shopping.

In Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia and Japan, Chinese New Year 2012 is a major festival, however it is not a public holiday, here in Thailand.

Public Holidays for Lunar New Year 2012

Indonesia : Monday, 23 January 2012 (1 day)

Malaysia : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Tuesday, 24 January 2012 * (2 days)

Singapore : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Tuesday, 24 January 2012 (2 days)

Hong Kong : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Wednesday, 25 January 2012 (3 days)

Macau : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Wednesday, 25 January 2012 (3 days)

China : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Wednesday, 25 January 2012 (3 days)

South Korea : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Wednesday, 25 January 2012 (3 days)

Vietnam : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Thursday, 26 January 2012 (4 days)

Taiwan : Monday, 23 January 2012 – Thursday, 26 January 2012 (4 days)

Chinese New Year in the future

Chinese New Year 2013

2013 is the year of Snake. Chinese New Year 2013 falls on Sunday, 10 February 2013

Chinese New Year 2014

2014 is the year of Horse. Chinese New Year 2014 falls on Friday, 31 January 2014

Chinese New Year 2015

2015 is the year of Sheep. Chinese New Year 2015 falls on Thursday, 19 February 2015

Chinese New Year 2016

2016 is the year of Monkey. Chinese New Year 2016 falls on Monday, 8 February 2016

Chinese New Year 2017

2017 is the year of Rooster. Chinese New Year 2017 falls on Saturday, 28 January 2017

Chinese New Year 2018

2018 is the year of Dog. Chinese New Year 2018 falls on Friday, 16 February 2018

Chinese New Year 2019

2019 is the year of Pig. Chinese New Year 2019 falls on Tuesday, 5 February 2019