A quieter Chinese New Year

PHUKET: The Chinese New Year may have opened in Phuket with many a bang from strings of firecrackers, but otherwise it’s pretty quiet, an informal survey by the Gazette indicated today. Fresh food sellers, jewelers and other retailers in Phuket responded with much the same bottom-line answer: sales are down. Usually gold, symbolizing wealth and good fortune, is given to children at this time. But this year, spokespeople at both the Nopakhaw Gold Jewelry Shop and the Rassada Gold Shop said people seem to prefer to give cash because the current price of gold makes jewelry more expensive. Jaraporn Jiwavisitthinont, owner of the Nopakhaw shop, said, “Customers are buying gold to wear themselves, which is different from other years. When gold was cheaper, people could afford to buy gifts for their children or grandchildren.” Rungrudee Chairattananukul, who has a stall in Ranong Rd, Phuket Town, selling noodles, fish-balls and other special foods traditionally offered to the gods, blamed an erosion of tradition among the young who “buy ready-made food because it saves time”. But she agreed that it might also be because the Thai economy is not good these days. Winyu Boonlert, a vegetable merchant in Ranong Rd, said, “I hoped to sell more vegetables this Chinese New Year, but I don’t know what’s happened; I have less income. But I think it will be better next year.” Even children are finding the going tougher, it seems. Five-year-old Jatuporn “Aob” Danaisiriphong, of Phuket Town, said, “This year I got Ang-Pao [pink or red envelopes containing money, which parents and relatives give to children] but it was about half the money I got last year.”

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

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