Consider yourself lucky if you find yourself in Phuket mid-February. February 11 and 12, 2013, brings the spectacular festivities of Chinese New Year to Thailand, and the Chinese Thai community truly knows how to celebrate with pomp and a festive spirit.
The Chinese New Year, also known as Trut Chin in Thai, is a festival of thanksgiving and ancestor worship, as well as a time for family.
If you missed Thailand's display of love for fireworks during Loy Kratong, don't worry – you'll experience plenty of noisy firecrackers during these two days, as well as vibrant parades and a variety of local entertainment to welcome the Year of the Snake. Plus, don't forget the food and shopping!
11-12 Feb 2013, The Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office (TAT) and Phuket City's annual Chinese New Year celebrations at the public park next to the TAT office on Phuket Road, Phuket Town.
Grab a taxi and make your way up to Phuket town from BYD Lofts, where signs of the New Year will be clear for all to see, bright red banners and decorations adorning shops and homes. This is also where the Old Phuket Festival will take place, in the Sino-Portuguese quarter of Phuket Town. Highlights of the festival include the Dragon Procession.
Not that you'll want a break from taste testing all of Phuket's normal treats, but Chinese New Year brings even more special delicacies. Food plays a central role in the celebrations, with certain types considered lucky (Mandarin oranges bring wealth and good luck; a whole steamed chicken or duck means wholeness in your life), and others unlucky (avoid tofu!).