By: Kaja, Work-study Thailand
In contrast to Christmas, New Year’s Eve is celebrated in a big way in Thailand!
You could buy firecrackers even at the local food market. Everybody was prepararing for the big evening as early as two days before. The kids even had the following day off from school.
In almost every street there was a place prepared for New Year’s Eve, complete with a small stage, several chairs and a buffet for the whole neighborhood. Everybody was excited for the change of the year. At midday you could see already many Thais relaxing with a drink on their veranda, waiting for the night to come.
As half of the kids had gone home for the evening and the days after, we didn’t plan to have a party or anything like that at the center. The kids that were left prepared everything for a movie night and did a little barbeque before that Julie and I were invited to.
Afterwards we left to go to the center of Chiang Rai, where they had built up some stages and there were many food and drink stands. It was full of people with happy faces and at midnight everybody was screaming, watching the beautiful fireworks. It was really pretty!
Beside the fireworks there were plenty of these floating lanterns. Floating lanterns have a long tradition in Thailand. Of course we also had to get one of these, and so we bought one and let it rise into the sky. It was a beautiful experience! (Even though they only had some with an Angry Birds theme left)
The days after New Year’s Eve were very calm. Some kids were still at home with their families, many shops were closed in the city and everybody was relaxing and looking forward to 2016.
All in all it was a very nice experience celebrating New Year’s Eve in such a different country like Thailand and to be part of the festivities.