If you come to Phuket during February, then you will most likely be able to involve yourself in Chinese New Year.
It is an incredibly vibrant and colourful time of the year with traditional Chinese processions taking place, firecrackers snapping and crackling and colourful local performers all entertain the crowds that gather to witness the many fantastic spectacles taking place all around. If you see one procession during the festival (you’ll struggle to only see one – they’re all over the place!) then make sure it is the Dragon Procession as it promises a cornucopia of colours to amaze spectators.
One of the most impressive aspects of the Chinese New Year celebrations is by far the food which is available to try. You can partake in local delicacies and it would be fair to say that locals and visitors alike ingest more food now than they do at any other time during the rest of the year.
Food plays a big part in the celebrations, with the foods served during the celebrations considered as being very lucky. Additional ingredients will also be added to attract further good fortune! The New Year’s Eve celebrations involve families gathering together around the dining table and dedicate their meals to the spirits of their relatives long-gone. This act signifies introducing the old spirits to the new family members – thought to bring good luck and protection for the following year.
Phuket Town is well worth a visit during Chinese New Year. The area is one of the most colourfully decorated to be seen and it is quite breath-taking. Vibrant red flags will adorn steps up to the doorways of houses and shops. In fact, the colour red is important during Chinese New Year. It is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the future months – the act of giving red envelopes containing money illustrates these beliefs.
Tradition states that all the windows and doors of every house must be opened when the clock strikes midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve. This way, not only can the previous year be ushered out, but the new year can be welcomed in! This also means that any bad spirits that have brought ill-fortune to the household during the previous year can vacate the premises while the spirits of good fortune enter the home make merry with those celebrating, hopefully sticking around for the following year to bring with them good fortune and prosperity.
So, for those visiting Phuket, Chinese New Year is a great time that is thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who takes part. You can sample delicious local foods, you can enjoy discounts at the Chinese stores and generally you will find deals at hotels meaning your stay can be a little cheaper despite taking place in high season. It is definitely a time not to be missed here on the island of Phuket!