Every year Dec 31st is marked as a day of celebration across Thailand like other countries in the world. Thais love to celebrate the New Year Holiday and organize new year parties. It’s a fun day with friends and family, filled with eating, gift-giving and celebrating.
Although Thailand has its own Thai New Year, the Songkran festival, held each April, the calendar New Year of 01 January also has its great value to the Thai people. Lets see how Thais celebrate:
Family Time: Thai people are very sentimental when it comes to their family or ancestral home. During this new year vacation, they visit their village hometown to meet the elders and practice other rituals, as most offices are closed for a multi-day period, allowing everyone time to make the trip home. They celebrate in their hometowns with family and friends which may include barbecue, drinking and and preparing meals together.
Eating Seafood: Thais love to eat seafoods on New Year’s Eve. All seafood restaurants are filled with tourists and local Thais, especially in Bang Saen or Pattaya. In Bangkok, buffet restaurants also get crowded as large number of Thais visit there to eat with their families. Some even gather in house parties where they eat giant prawns, shellfish, mussels, fish and other fresh seafood.
Countdown Parties: Asiatique, IconSiam, CentralWorld and other shopping malls organize countdowns where visitors can join the crowds to celebrate the stroke of midnight. Fireworks, lighting displays, fireworks and laser shows are the main attraction of this event. DJs, club music and street parties are common in an around these venues and major hit-makers perform live, just as in some of other major world capitals.
Visiting temples: A huge number of Thais also visit temple during the evening or night time to mark the changing of the year with good luck and prosperity. Making merit and giving alms to monks are common. It’s the Thai spiritual way to begin the new year with peace of mind.
Travel: Thais head out of Bangkok en mass to enjoy cooler temperatures elsewhere with their family and friends. Khao Yai and Chiang Mai are quite popular travel destinations for Thais for new year holidays. The weather is pretty cold there in the mountains and Thais love to get a taste of the cold weather.