PATTAYA, Thailand – As the vibrant festivities of Chinese New Year unfolded on February 8, we immersed ourselves into the bustling ambiance of Pattaya’s markets. Among the bustling hubs, Naklua market emerged as a focal point, drawing in both Chinese and Thai-Chinese communities eager to procure auspicious items believed to bring luck and prosperity throughout the Lunar New Year.
The fervour among Thai-Chinese residents in Pattaya was palpable as they flocked to stalls adorned with items symbolizing prosperity and fortune. Red lanterns and lamps, imbued with modern designs suitable for year-round decoration, stole the spotlight, with their vibrant hues believed to ward off evil spirits according to Chinese tradition. In a unique twist, some enthusiasts even adorned their vehicles with these red lights, considering it a protective measure during travels.
Adding to the allure were Chinese New Year reverberating bells and hanging decorations, steeped in ancient symbolism signifying longevity and protection. These ornamental pieces, traditionally hung at doorways and windows, found innovative placements in homes and workplaces, injecting a lively and colourful spirit into the surroundings.
Thanwalai Romsakul, proprietor of the Rom Po shop, shed light on the yearly tradition of unveiling new auspicious items, including hanging decorations and modernized Chinese lettering. Customers eagerly embraced this tradition, recognizing the symbolic gesture of welcoming positive energies for the upcoming year. Bulk purchases were commonplace among customers of Chinese descent, with many adhering to the practice of replacing worn-out items annually.
This year’s sales surge surpassed expectations, attributed in part to the growing number of Chinese business professionals making Thailand their home. To accommodate the influx of shoppers, Rom Po shop extended its operating hours, remaining open 24 hours on February 8 and 9, ensuring customers could partake in the New Year shopping spree at their convenience.
As the Naklua market buzzed with activity, the unity of cultures and the spirit of prosperity intertwined, underscoring the significance of Chinese New Year as a time of celebration, renewal, and communal joy in Pattaya.