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Bangkok gears up for Chinese New Year Celebrations
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    Bangkok gears up for Chinese New Year Celebrations

    Bangkok gears up for Chinese New Year Celebrations
    e-Travel Blackboard (press release), Australia
    Friday, January 20, 2006

    The People’s Republic of China will give The King of Thailand His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej a gift to mark the 60th anniversary of his accession to the throne. Two giant dragon lanterns, the dragons will take pride of place at the Chinese New Year festival in Yaowarat (China Town) on January 29 and 30.

    This year celebrations will be bigger than ever and the theme is “A warm friendship of two nations under the great kindness of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej.”

    The centrepiece of the celebrations will be a 30-metre-long dragon lantern to be installed at the China Town Gate in Odian Circle – with another 5-metre-long dragon flanking it – and both will be lit as night falls.

    At the entrance to Trimitr Road and Rajawong Intersection, another two pairs of five-metre-high Chinese lion lanterns will add to the festive ambience.

    The Chinese government will also send more than 100 and kung-fu troupes and dragon-dancers all up – from Guangzhou to perform at the festival, which will run from 8am until midnight over two days.

    Adding to the spectacle will be more than 150 lanterns in Thai and Chinese styles, lighting up Yaowarat, Charoen Krung and Trimitr roads during the event.

    The lanterns have been designed in the traditional style of Chinese court and made by Foshan Folk Art Research Institute.

    Four veteran chefs from China will be flown here to cook 60 special menus for the event. Twelve menus, being kept secret, will be served to HRH Princess Sirindhorn, who will preside over the festival on January 29.

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    BANGKOK CHINA TOWN FESTIVAL 2006
    JANUARY 29 – 30, 2006
    In Bangkok’s China Town – Yawarat, Sampantawong district
    Along Trimitr Road, The King’s Birthday Celebration Arch to Ratchawong intersection

    PROGRAMME
    Please click to view

    The Bangkok China Town Festival is first in a series of grand celebrations being held to mark the auspicious occasion of the Diamond Jubilee or the Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration of His Majesty the King of Thailand's Accession to the Throne in 2006. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history and the world’s longest reigning, living monarch.

    With the arrival of another New Year on January 29, 2006 – the "Year of the Dog", Bangkok’s China Town celebrates its historic 224-year old legacy since the founding of Bangkok's Yawarat district.

    Traditional celebrations are staged every Chinese New Year to pay tribute the mythical Golden Dragon – the guardian spirit that has watched over Yawarat for centuries, and to whom residents of the community believe they owe their good fortune, wealth and prosperity. The Golden Dragon is thus accorded an exalted status in ritual, as well as in everyday life.

    Thailand also celebrates the 31st anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the People’s Republic of China.

    To commemorate these milestones in history, Bangkok's Yawarat district or 'China Town', Bangkok's legendary Thai-Chinese community, is hosting its grandest celebration.

    Given the significance of the joint Sino-Thai Chinese New Year celebrations in Bangkok’s China Town, ceremonies and festival highlights will be broadcasted on China’s CCTV and also covered by Shin Hua news agency.

    BANGKOK’S ‘CHINA TOWN’ – YAWARAT
    The oldest, most established and largest ethnic Chinese community in Thailand, Yawarat has a rich historical past.

    During the establishment of the city of Rattanakosin during the reign of King Phra Phuttha Yotfa Chulaloke (King Rama I), founder of the Chakri dynasty, with the blessing of His Majesty the King, early Chinese immigrants to the kingdom settled in a district at the heart of Yawarat called "Sampeng". By the Fourth and Fifth Reign, through active trade with overseas nations, Sampeng had evolved into a prosperous centre of international trade.

    In Thai-Chinese families, age-old sacred rituals are still observed, and customs and traditions are passed down from generation to generation. This rich legacy is nurtured with great diligence. Many of these aspects are reflected in the colourful and boisterous aspects of the Chinese New Year festivities.

    Red is considered to be an auspicious colour – a symbol of happiness and good luck so the appropriate dress code for the Chinese New Year celebrations is red.

    FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS Opening Ceremony – January 29, 2006

    Royal Exhibition in Honour of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
    Candle Lighting Ceremony in Honour of His Majesty the King – January 30, 2006
    Thai-Chinese Cultural Showcases
    Food Streets

    OPENING CEREMONY – JANUARY 29, 2006

    08.30
    Bangkok China Town Festival Opening Ceremony 2006
    At the 60th Anniversary (Chalerm Phrakiat) Stage (Main Stage)
    His Excellency the Minister of Tourism and Sports presides over the ceremony.

    16.00
    Chinese New Year Blessing Ceremony
    Thai-Chinese Relations Opening Ceremony
    At the 60th Anniversary (Chalerm Phrakiat) Stage (Main Stage)
    His Excellency Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and official representatives of the Chinese government will preside at the blessing ceremony to extend wishes to all who observe the Chinese New Year tradition.

    17.00 – 18.00
    Bangkok China Town Chinese New Year Festival
    Opening Ceremony
    The King’s Birthday Celebration Arch and Odeon Circle
    Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will graciously preside at the opening ceremony.


    ROYAL EXHIBITION
    In Honour of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
    A tribute to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth ruler of the Royal House of Chakri, the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history and the world’s longest reigning, living monarch.

    The Royal Exhibition will showcase:
    The life, royal activities and outstanding lifetime achievements of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
    His Majesty the King’s contribution to science and technology
    A photo exhibition on His Majesty’s remarkable artistic and literary talent and His Majesty’s avid interest in art and culture
    His Majesty’s favourite leisure activities
    His Majesty’s role in forging Thai-Chinese relations

    BEST WISHES TO HIS MAJESTY THE KING
    A Chinese New Year Greetings guest book will be placed at the Odeon Circle reception counter for visitors to convey their best wishes to His Majesty the King.

    Greetings cards will also be on sale. All proceeds from the sale of the cards will be presented to charitable causes supported by His Majesty the King.

    CANDLE-LIGHTING CEREMONY
    JANUARY 30, 2006
    A candle lighting ceremony in honour of His Majesty the King will be held on at the 60th Anniversary (Chalerm Phrakiat) stage. All visitors are invited to join in the ceremony.

    ‘YEAR OF THE DOG’The much loved royal pet dogs of His Majesty the King – Khun Tongdaeng and family, and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s four-legged ‘companions’ of Sapathum Palace (Wang Sapathum) will also be making a rare public appearance at the Odeon Circle.

    THROUGH THE THREADS OF TIME
    An exhibition that traces the history and rich heritage of Thai fabrics and textile-weaving

    THAI-CHINESE CULTURAL SHOWCASES
    A spectacular showcase of art and culture, tradition and way of life

    Activities will be held on two main stages: The 60th Anniversary (Chalerm Phrakiat) stage

    The Thai-Chinese cultural stage

    Spectacular cultural presentations and stage performances from provinces of the People’s Republic of China, such as Xian and Guang Zhou, will be matched by magnificent presentations of magnificent Thai cultural performances presented by the Department of Fine Arts.

    STAGE ACTIVITIES
    Live performances and demonstrations at the 60th Anniversary (Chalerm Phrakiat) Stage and Thai-Chinese cultural stage Kung Fu martial arts presented by Wang Hua Fei, the highly renowned Chinese Kung Fu school of martial arts from Faw Wan town in Guang Zhou province, China

    Thai martial arts show

    World Championship Lion Dance from Guang Zhou province in China
    Thai Dragon Procession and Lion Dance
    Dragon Dance from Guang Zhou, China
    Chinese Imperial Court Dress featuring Chin, Han and Tang dynasty period costumes and styles of dress from Chairman Mao’s era to contemporary fashion in China
    Thai-style of dress through the ages, a cultural presentation and fashion show highlighting the evolution of styles of dress from the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin period to the present
    Ramakien (Ramayana) – Khon masked dance and cultural presentations and the performing arts by the Department of Fine Arts
    The Lantern Dance and Dances of the Imperial Court— traditional performances presented by the cultural troupe from Xian province
    Chinese music and traditional musical instruments
    (ku choeng, pin or pi pa)
    Lanterns at The King’s Birthday Celebration Arch and Odeon Circle A colourful displays of a myriad lanterns from Thailand and China completes the festive ambience. Highlights include:
    A 30-metre long Dragon Lantern and five-metre high Thai and Chinese Royal Court Lanterns at the King’s Birthday Celebration Arch
    Five-metre tall Chinese Lion Lanterns at the entrance of Trimitr Road and Ratchawong Intersection
    Thai and Chinese-style lanterns in 150 locations from Trimitr Road to Odeon Circle and Ratchawong Intersection

    Demonstrations of Lanna-style lantern-making
    Demonstrations of Chinese lantern-making from Guong Zhou province in China
    Origami and Paper Crafts from Guong Zhou province in China


    FOOD STREETS ALONG YAWARAT’S ‘STREETS OF GOLD’

    Enjoy the tremendous diversity of Chinese fine cuisine featuring an extensive menu of 60 gourmet creations from the imperial courts of China. These superb dishes will be prepared by the famous chefs of Sun Ter sub-district, the birthplace of China’s finest chefs. Chefs from Sun Ter will join Yaowarat’s celebrated chefs and cooks from top restaurants and food shops in China Town to present a gastronomic extravaganza guaranteed to impress connoisseurs and food-lovers.

    NEE HOW – SAWASDEE MEE CHOKE CHINESE NEW YEAR MERIT-MAKING
    JANUARY 29: from 06.00 – 18.00
    JANUARY 30: from 06.00 – 16.00

    Visitors to the Grand Chinese New Year Festival are invited to receive blessings for the New Year by making merit at the following six sacred sites along Yawarat Road:
    The King’s Birthday Celebration (Chalerm Phrakiat) Arch, Tian Fah Foundation, Aa Nia Keng (Chue Pui Nia Nia) shrine, Leng Buay Ia shrine, Chao Phao Kuan U Diety shrine and Wat Traimit Witthayaram temple.

    Red is considered to be an auspicious colour – a symbol of happiness and good luck. Participants are encouraged to dress in red.

    Nee How-Sawasdee Mee Choke Lucky Draw
    After having completed the pilgrimage of the six sacred sites, participants will be eligible to participate in the Nee How-Sawasdee Mee Choke Lucky Draw.

    Each participant will receive a participation form. At the end of the pilgrimage, participants who have collected a total of six stamps on the participation form can drop the form into any one of the nine Nee How-Sawasdee Mee Choke lucky draw boxes placed at nine different locations along Yawarat Road.

    The draw will be conducted on 30 January. To be eligible for the Nee How-Sawasdee Mee Choke Lucky Draw, participants must be dressed in red.


    SHOPPING FOR GIFT ITEMS
    Shop for souvenirs and gift items from Phu Fa Store, offering products from the Phu Fa Royal Development Project at the Initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and the Thai Red Cross Association.


    ACTIVITIES ALONG YAWARAT ROAD
    From Lamphoonchai Road to Ratchawong Intersection
    Within Bangkok's "China Town", ancient customs and traditions have been preserved by members of the community, particularly ancient Chinese culinary art and the celebration of traditional festivals on the Chinese calendar. The Bangkok China Town Festival highlights the many facets of Yawarat's rich traditional heritage and draws attention to the best that ‘China Town’ has to offer.

    Contact information:
    Tourism Authority of Thailand – Events Promotion Division
    Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 Ext. 3495-3499

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