Roy Cavanagh at Thaizer.com explains:
Although it’s never been an official holiday in Thailand, Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout the country and not just by those who can claim Chinese heritage. However, there will be plenty of firecrackers going off in the next few days and many Thai people will be wearing red shirts and handing out ang pao (red money packets).
An estimated 14% of Thailand’s 65 million population are of Chinese descent, a result of a long history of Chinese immigration into Thailand. In the fourteenth century, Chinese merchants were prominent in the state of Ayutthaya before becoming established in Bangkok. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Chinese workers were encouraged to come to the kingdom to supplement the native workforce. More recent Thai history has seen a clampdown on immigration from China, but the Chinese influence remains strong in certain areas of Thailand.
Wats will be busy up and down the country in the next few days as people make merit and wish for good luck in the forthcoming year.
Read more about the animals of the Thai zodiac and the 12-year cycle »
2008 – Year of the Rat
2009 – Year of the Ox
2010 – Year of the Tiger
2011 – Year of the Rabbit
2012 – Year of the Dragon
2013 – Year of the Snake
2014 – Year of the Horse
2015 – Year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep
2016 – Year of the Monkey
2017 – Year of the Rooster
2018 – Year of the Dog
2019 – Year of the Pig
The International Business Times shares Chinese New Year Delicacies to enjoy during The Year of the Monkey, which began Monday.