Connect with us


Chinese New Year is for all islanders

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Dr Kosol Tang-Uthai is the deputy mayor of Phuket City and president of the Thai Peranakan Association, a group dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Phuket’s unique Chinese culture. Dr Kosol earned his doctorate from Mahidol University, and has been serving as president of the association since 2007.

Here, he explains the importance of the Chinese New Year celebrations to Phuket residents and of preserving the Chinese and Phuket culture for younger generations.

PHUKET: This is a very important time of the year for many Phuket residents, and the island is very busy as Thai-Chinese people bustle around preparing their homes for Chinese New Year celebrations, or get ready to visit close relatives elsewhere.

Chinese thoroughly enjoy this time, as they work hard all year long. In the old days, they never took time off during the year, so the new year period was the only time during which they felt comfortable about taking a break. No one is permitted to work on new year’s day, which falls on February 19 this year.

Although this is a time for house cleaning and to visit relatives, food preparation is also an important part of this holiday. People take time and care to cook their most favorite dishes for themselves and as offerings to their ancestors.

It is our duty to inherit and preserve this culture for younger generations. If we fail to do so, the traditions will be lost in Phuket society – much like Chinese language has been. It is rare to come across a young Baba or Nyonya [male or female] Peranakan Chinese-Thai who can speak Chinese fluently these days.

Phuket is a place where many cultures, races and religions come together, such as Chinese, Malay and Muslim. The purpose of the Chinese New Year celebration is not just to preserve our cultural heritage, but to bring all people together to celebrate as one.

Though Peranakan Chinese make up the majority of the population in Phuket, you will see Muslim and Malay people setting up food stalls during the many Chinese New Year events that the island will host.

Unlike many other provinces in which Chinese New Year events have slowly disappeared, Phuket’s celebrations get bigger and better each year. We started with only one street – Thalang Road – but have expanded to Krabi and Phang Nga roads, among others.

A Chinese New Year festival, organized by the Phuket City Municipality, will be celebrated from February 26-28. It is also our tradition to celebrate the next five working days after Chinese New Year. This is unique to Phuket.

This is the 16th year that the Chinese New Year festival has been organized by the Phuket City Municipality. It also inspired the Cultural Department to hold its Phuket Old Town Festival during the celebrations.

This year, with the full support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Phuket office, we will have five streets and five stages on which to celebrate. The main stage will be set up at the 72nd Anniversary Queen Sirikit Park.

A Chinese opera and a Chinese performing arts troupe will be the highlight of the event. Locals will present their prized Phuket foods along the streets in front of their houses, and the Phuket Town Food Association will bring dishes and hold cooking demonstrations on Phang Nga Road.

Last, but not least, we will hold our biggest parade yet from 5pm on February 26, starting on Phang Nga Road and finishing at Queen Sirikit Park.

Join us for the exciting celebrations to ring in the Chinese New Year. This new year will be represented by a female wooden sheep. If your lucky element is wood, fire or earth, you will live well in 2015.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Sunday Covid Update: 117 deaths and 13,576 new cases

Tourism16 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Crime17 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Phuket18 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Transport20 hours ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Thailand2 days ago

Oct 1 reopening NOT confirmed, Kpop star sparks frenzy for Thai meatballs |Thailand News Today

Hua Hin2 days ago

Final arguments Tuesday on dual pricing suit against Health Ministry

World2 days ago

Texas lawyer dressed as Halloween’s Michael Myers to spread hurricane cheer

Thailand2 days ago

The Last Dance feat. Mike | Thaiger Bites | September 17

Thailand2 days ago

No “October reopening” plan has been approved – CCSA

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11