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Chinese New Year celebrations stark reminder of Covid’s impact on Phuket



The hope of Phuket reviving tourism for the Chinese New Year is dimming with each passing hour today as streets remain quiet with only locals visiting the area’s Chinese shrines in a stark reminder of the Covid pandemic having lasting effects on Thailand. Even decorations seem to be less vibrant than previous years as Thai-Chinese placed minimal decor outside their homes in the Phuket Old Town area.

Thalang and Phang Nga roads signify the decline in festivities according to the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department. Pud Cho Shrine on Soi Phuthon, off Ranong Road has also seen less visitors turning out to take part in the annual blessing ceremonies that include making merit. Of those that did show up, the color red, an auspicious color for the Chinese, didn’t seem to make it into their wardrobe choices.

When asked about why they wore other colours, visitors responded to PR Phuket by saying that financial reasons were the main driver in choosing to not buy new, red Chinese New Year clothing. And, when asked about the somewhat thin gathering of visitors, their responses pointed to financial troubles again, saying they could not afford to travel home to celebrate the holiday with their families.

“Most of them have only a small ritual, and give red envelopes [ang pao] to the children in the family.”

Despite the dwindling numbers of those celebrating the holiday, PR Phuket is reminding its residents that they are invited to join the Annual Worship Festival 2021 as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The event at the Phuket Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Rd, Phuket Town, will be held on Friday, February 19, from 10:30pm.

Those who are interested in attending the event can contact the Tourism Development and Promotion Division at Phuket City Municipality at 076-214306.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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  1. Brian

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    The virus did not have that effect. The virus did not have the power to do that. Government did that. Please, stop speaking as if the virus had the power to stop plane flights and things like that.

    • Geoff

      Friday, February 12, 2021 at 5:55 pm

      Yes it did. Same the world over.

    • Terrence

      Friday, February 12, 2021 at 6:10 pm

      The government has a responsibility for public health. When you have a highly contagious and deadly virus, it makes sense to try and prevent movement between communities of people.

      If it were not for the intervention of public health measures, the impact of this pandemic would be far worse than what it is now.

      • Patrick

        Friday, February 12, 2021 at 7:40 pm

        Contagious? Yes
        Deadly? No
        Selective reporting (aka propaganda): Yes
        Make it socially unacceptable to talk different and be ignored: success (incl validated and respected Dutch IC doctors with a more realistic different opinion about the whole one sided narrative)

        I never could have made-up that a mild flu-like spreading virus could cause the world to act like this. Mild? Yes, to most. A ridiculous high amount of asymptomatic people and no-one questioning this. Flawed statistics. Heck, a German leaked discussion even talked about how to upsell/dramatize the situation with made up future numbers so people would agree. Always talking about hospital IC capacity while many countries cut down that same capacity the last decade. Well, I can go on and on. The media is very one minded and constantly bombarding us with the same stories. Manipulation. While whole economy sectors go down the pipe and small shops bye bye while the big ones smile. Say bye bye to open borders and choice.

        In the future we hear “We thought we did the right thing and didnt know better” as lame excuse.

        • JJ

          Friday, February 12, 2021 at 11:44 pm

          You should join as volunteer to hospitals taking care of covid patients.
          As it’s just seasonal flu.. It’s as seasonal as Spanish flu..

          • Kalim

            Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 1:52 am

            In Ireland the death rate is.
            For the under 65 age group 0.15% of cases.
            65 to 79. 5.2%
            80+ 18.3%
            The median age for death is 82.
            The average life expectancy in Ireland is 82!
            Your overall health plays a massive part in how sick you are as does obesity!

      • vic

        Friday, February 12, 2021 at 9:40 pm

        Deadly? 80 old and sick persons in one year?
        How you define road accidents, then? It’s 45 young persons PER DAY.

  2. SIso

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    What was the point of building up and decorating everything in the first place.. everyone knows local people don’t have the money to spend and tourism is pretty much decapitated right now

    All these efforts to revive tourism are idiotic and completely useless, people need to start to understand that this covid circus is here to stay for atleast another year or so, also the real economic impact and consequences of all the restrictions and lockdowns will be coming around the corner in a delayed fashion overtime and will hit society like a sledgehammer in the face like a cherry on a pie in the end

  3. Jim kelly

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    OMFG!!! People on here, yet again,…doom merchants!! Terrance.. it’s people like you, running scared that are perpetuating this flu virus!! You’re going to have to live with it I’m afraid. Let’s STOP all this over-reacting, believing the press, believing the Government, believing the ‘timid’ folk on here… all masked up and socially distancing I bet (I HAVE NEVER WORN A MASK AND NEVER WILL… MY CHOICE AS A HUMAN!!)

    • Paul

      Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 9:26 am

      Well if you have never worn a mask you are a selfish self centered and careless individual.. my guess is you don’t put your hand up when you cough and don’t do so when you sneeze . That was developed during the plague . Masks make sense to stop those ( like you that have no manners ) that don’t think of others . Do wear deodorant so others can’t smell you ? ..I guess not … With regards to covid, karma might come knocking on some but for I will just take care and let nature decide my fate . Refusing to wear a mask is the same as refusing to wear a condom .. pathetic and stupid it’s odd you admit your stupid

  4. Ian

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Well you lot are a bunch of selfish dicks

  5. George

    Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 2:41 am

    In my opinion a mask should be worn as well as washing you’re hands regularly, which I think I do every time I go to the bathroom. The amount of times I’ve gone to the bathrooms and seen people just walk out without cleaning is crazy, not in our house btw. I hope all the keyboard warriors that say covid isn’t real are correct but when you have friends and family die of it, maybe they’ll not type too much. Too everyone in every country I hope you and you’re families and friends are safe, peace

  6. James Pate

    Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 5:20 am

    I think what’s missing from this article is that a lot of folks probably had a really good time with small get-togethers, incense and red envelopes. When times are tough, it’s good to remember that family, friends and community are the most important things in life. Families with surnames a yard long who can’t speak a lick of Chinese understand this!

  7. JM

    Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 6:24 am

    switch off your tv, switch on your brain

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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