Thais of Chinese descent today flocked Chinese shrines both in Bangkok and the provinces to give offerings and worship Chinese gods and goddesses today to mark the long Chinese New Year Festival.
In Bangkok China Town or locally called Yaowarat, the largest and most important Chinese temple, Wat Mangkon Kamalawat or Wat Length Noei Yi, was crowded with the Chinese worshippers coming early in the morning to give offerings and to pray for good luck from gods.
Bangkok China Town is decorated with red lanterns but no other entertainment activities are held as the country is still in the mourning process.
Chinese temples in other tourist locations in the provinces where Chinese communities still dominate local economies are also visited by Thais of Chinese descent. They include Phuket, Trang, Hat Yai, Pattani, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan.
Yesterday Bangkok China Town was packed with Thai-Chinese descendants shopping for items to worship the Gods and ancestors.
Goods prices remained close to large year’s prices.
The most popular items for 2017 Chinese New Year celebrations include pork, chicken, duck, fruits, as well as stuffed dough pyramid and sticky rice cake desserts.
Chicken was priced between 250-300 baht this year, while one whole grilled duck was between 400-500 baht.
A large crowd of women also flocked to purchase Kipao, a traditional Chinese dress, with black and gold-colour being the most popular this year.
Some shops had even sold out all of their black Chinese dresses and customers had to pre-order their purchases to receive them after the Chinese New Year had passed..
Shoppers said they have chosen to buy black Chinese dresses because the country is still in mourning for His late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Nonetheless, the dresses in other colours are also in high demands, while the price for each dress has been reported to begin at 300 baht.
Gold shops at China Town also reported a livelier shopping atmosphere than last year for the Chinese New Year celebrations, with sales of gold ornaments and jewelry increasing by 5 per cent, as the gold price is not too high.
They predicted that tomorrow which is an outing day, gold shops would see the highest number of customers, with gold ornaments created in a number 9 in Thai and chicken the most popular among shoppers.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)