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Phuket readies for Chinese New Year

Phuket readies for Chinese New Year

PHUKET: Festivities marking Chinese New Year 2020, this honouring the Year of the Rat, will begin at the 72nd Anniversary Queen Sirikit Park on Thalang Rd in Phuket Town this Saturday (Jan 25).

By Khunanya Wanchawet

Thursday 23 January 2020, 09:26AM

While local festivities will also be held in community centres across the island starting this weekend, the festivities in Phuket Town, as is now tradition, will be held to coincide with the annual Phuket Old Town Festival, from Jan 30 through Feb 2.

The festivities will be held at Queen Sirikit Park – also known simply as “Dragon Park” after the dragon statue that features prominently at the site – from 5pm until midnight, explained Phuket City Municipality public relations officer Warangkana Prommee.

This year, Phuket City Municipality and Cherng Talay Municipality are coordinating their events “with a lot of activities so that tourists and local people can participate and learn Chinese culture”, she said.

“There will be many activities including a local cultural parade, music and dance shows from China, cultural shows by students.

“At Queen Sirikit Park, on Thalang Rd in Phuket Town, there will be many activities, including a cultural parade, lantern decorations, Thai-Chinese cultural performances from China and cooking demonstrations for local residents as well as Chinese festive food,” Ms Warangkana explained.

Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana along with Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana and other esteemed guests will attend the “dual opening ceremony” to be held at the park at 7pm on Jan 30.

“There will be local Phuket culture show at 5pm, then the performances will start with the Royal Thai Drum performance and a Chinese Mask dance performance,” Ms Warangkana said.

“After that there will be the Sing Ballerina Aerobics Kung Fu cultural show from China at 7:30pm, followed by the LED Lion Show, or Khana Luk Thaw Mahathep.

“Other performances on the night include Petcharat Saeng, a drum battle by performers who have appeared on Thailand’s Got Talent, a Chinese vs Thai flute show, a lotus dance performance, a dragon show, a kung fu demonstration, a Chinese boxing vs Thai boxing demonstration and music performances,” she added.

On Jan 31, the entertainment continues with another “Grand Opening Show” at 5:30pm, followed by a Royal Thai drum show, a mask dance show, “Ku-Jeng Performances” by the “Angel of Kuzheng” organised by the Phuket Cultural Office, a lotus dance, a repeat performance by the Sing Ballerina Aerobics Kung Fu performers from China, and other performances by students.

On Feb 1, after a Song Kaeng Chinese chanting ceremony is held in front of the Hai Leng Ong dragon statue at 5:30pm will be more performances by students from local schools, as well as the "Culture Show China” performance organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand at 6:30pm and a local fashion show and the LED Lion Show.

From 9:30pm, a ceremony to honour Guan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, will be held at the dragon statue. “This is an old Phuket tradition,” Ms Warangkana noted.

Among the performers to arrive in Phuket as part of the TAT’s efforts to honour Chinese New Year from Jan 31 to Feb 2 will be a dance and musical troupe from Jiangxi, an acrobatic troupe from Xian, and a kung fu troupe from Henan.

“Thailand’s Chinese New Year Celebration is one of the most unique events, and biggest, outside of China. It is considered one of the most important festivals in Thailand, that each year attracts a growing number of local and international tourists. This year the TAT’s CNY 2020 celebrations are focusing on traditional celebrations that can also blend in with modern activities,” said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn in announcing the national festivities last week. (See here.)

Meanwhile, Capt Surachart Chainarong of the Phuket City Traffic Police has warned that some roads in Phuket Town will be closed, in full or in part, or have parking prohibited along them, from 3pm to midnight from Jan 30 to Feb 1.

Roads to be affected include Thalang Rd, Soi Rommanee, a part of Krabi Rd, Phang Nga Rd, Soi Pradit, a part of Takua Pa Rd, Thepkrasattri Rd and Phuket Rd.

Asked which roads will be closed entirely, Capt Surachart said on Wednesday, “I can't confirm that just yet. It depends on the what is happening on each specific day. We will know more very soon.”

“Please check before travelling to this area, because these roads around the events will be busy,” he said.

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