Get ready for noisy firecrackers, colourful processions and local entertainment from 25th to 26th January 2020, as the Phuket enters the Year of the Golden Rat. Vibrant celebrations and super shopping bargains abound as Phuket's local Chinese community prepares for its most important festival. Adding to the celebrations is the Old Phuket Festival, held in the old Sino-Portuguese quarter of Phuket Town each year. Entertainment and highlights like the Dragon Procession, with performances of traditional dance, food, music, and art promise a kaleidoscope of colour and sensory circus in the streets during the two-day festival.
Throughout Phuket town, during New Year you'll see Chinese houses with their living rooms decorated with vases of flowers, platters of oranges and tangerines and a tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit. The entrances of many shops and houses will be festooned in red banners and decorations to encourage luck and happiness during the coming year. Many people wear red for a sunny and bright future. It is believed that appearance and attitude during New Year's sets the tone for the rest of the year so children and unmarried friends, as well as close relatives are given 'lai see' - little red envelopes with money inside, for good fortune. Oranges and tangerines, symbols of abundant happiness, must be taken as a gift if you are visiting a Chinese family during the two-week celebrations to ensure a long relationship with the person you're visiting.
The ear-splitting firecrackers that accompany the celebrations are a traditional way of sending out the old year and welcoming in the New Year - an event that seems to happen every day throughout the festival! On the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, traditions dictates that every door in the house, and even windows, have to be open to allow the old year to depart. For the visitor, it's a great time to stay in Phuket. Super food, great shopping discounts at department stores and local shops, plus special hotel and airline deals make it a perfect time for a short vacation. All blended with a colourful festival in a unique place. It's bound to be auspicious!
When: January 25-26, 2020
Where: Phuket Town, Phuket, Thailand