Kung Hei Fat Choi

Friday, 15 February 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 7 By  Staff reporters

Pattaya slides into Year of the Snake

Tributes to gods and ancestors were made across the region as Thai-Chinese residents welcomed in the Year of the Snake.

Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome presided over the Chinese “Wai Jao” ceremony Feb. 9 at Sawang Boriboon Foundation headquarters in Naklua to pray to gods and ancestors for good luck. A lively circus of dancing dragons and lions then took the stage, moving out to various destinations around Pattaya afterward.

Musical acts, including Sorn Jaiplasew and Oil Thonapat entertained, while 20 girls, ages 7-9, took to the stage for the annual Chinese Girl pageant. Waralak Utheansud, 7, from Rakphasa School won the 10,000 baht first prize. Jittanont Phijitkhadeepol, 7, from Satreenath Bangkhaen School won 7,000 baht for second place; Lolna Chairat, 8, from Throngwit Suksa School won 5,000 baht for third; Pischa Saetang, 7, from Assumption School won 3,000 baht for fourth, and Alisa Thapthawee, 9, from Pattaya Arunothai School won 2,000 baht for fifth place.

Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome bangs the gong to open the Chinese New Year festival in Pattaya.Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome bangs the gong to open the Chinese New Year festival in Pattaya.

Similar tributes to gods and ancestors were made across the region on this first “pay homage” day of the new year festival. Prayer altars filled with meat dishes, sweets like fluffy rice flower cakes, steamed dumplings and fruit, and even whiskey could be spotted in front of homes and shrines across the area. Evil spirits were cast aside with long bursts of firecrackers.

On Feb. 10, the actual New Year’s Day, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome led Pattaya’s traditional ceremony paying homage to city father King Taksin at city hall. A lion and dragon parade followed, plus distribution of “ang pao” cash envelopes. Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh held a similar ceremony on Pratamnak Hill to honor Prince Chumphon.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and city administrators welcome the crowd to the event.Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and city administrators welcome the crowd to the event.

In Central Festival Pattaya Beach, General Manager Saran Tantijamnaj led a golden lion with 4 heads through the mall, distributing oranges and wishing a prosperous “year of the snake” to tenants.

In the evening, the mall’s ground floor showcased martial arts and dance shows, plus a Qipao dress contest. Thirty Thai and foreign contestants competed with Sripassorn Buangsruang winning the first-place tiara and sash, as well as 30,000 baht. She also won the Miss Beauty Chinese Look award.  Kankullaya Chimphleewanasrom took second place and 10,000 baht, along with earning the Miss Healthy prize.  Whilst Wilolak Ouaysirikul won 5,000 baht for Miss Photogenic.

Lords of Luck distribute oranges during the Chinese New Year festival in Lan Po, Naklua.Lords of Luck distribute oranges during the Chinese New Year festival in Lan Po, Naklua.

Actress / celebrity and former Miss Thailand Panadda Wongphudee helps judge the Miss Qipao contest.Actress / celebrity and former Miss Thailand Panadda Wongphudee helps judge the Miss Qipao contest.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome puts ang pao (a monetary offering) into the dragon’s mouth, considered as a way to make merit.Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome puts ang pao (a monetary offering) into the dragon’s mouth, considered as a way to make merit.

One of the Eng Kor performers from Nakhon Sawan dresses as a snake to welcome in the Year of the Snake.One of the Eng Kor performers from Nakhon Sawan dresses as a snake to welcome in the Year of the Snake.

Lions and Chinese smiling uncle perform atop Pratamnak Hill.Lions and Chinese smiling uncle perform atop Pratamnak Hill.

Tavich Chaiswangwong, president of Pattaya city council, presents ang pao to Pao Yim (Chinese smiling uncle), a tradition during Chinese New Year festivals.Tavich Chaiswangwong, president of Pattaya city council, presents ang pao to Pao Yim (Chinese smiling uncle), a tradition during Chinese New Year festivals.

The dragon makes an appearance atop Pratamnak Hill on Chinese New Year.The dragon makes an appearance atop Pratamnak Hill on Chinese New Year.

Citizens and tourists at the top of Pratamnak Hill pay respects to HRH Capt. Phra Jao Aaphaporn Kiattiwong Krom Luang Chumporn Ketudomsak during Chinese New Year.Citizens and tourists at the top of Pratamnak Hill pay respects to HRH Capt. Phra Jao Aaphaporn Kiattiwong Krom Luang Chumporn Ketudomsak during Chinese New Year.

Residents in Soi Buakaow pray to their sacred deities, asking for protection for their shops and for a prosperous new year.Residents in Soi Buakaow pray to their sacred deities, asking for protection for their shops and for a prosperous new year.

Lords of Luck provide their wisdom (and oranges) during the Chinese New Year festival at Mike’s Department Store.Lords of Luck provide their wisdom (and oranges) during the Chinese New Year festival at Mike’s Department Store.

Aj. Sue Yan Yang leads students of the Sao Lin Kung Fu Syndicate, Pattaya, in a Vusu Sao Lin Kung Fu performance.Aj. Sue Yan Yang leads students of the Sao Lin Kung Fu Syndicate, Pattaya, in a Vusu Sao Lin Kung Fu performance.

Aj. Sue Yan Yang from the Sao Lin Kung Fu Syndicate, Pattaya, performs a traditional Chinese sword dance to Kung Fu Sao Lin music.Aj. Sue Yan Yang from the Sao Lin Kung Fu Syndicate, Pattaya, performs a traditional Chinese sword dance to Kung Fu Sao Lin music.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome presents top prize to 7-year-old Waralak “N’ Get” Uthaensud, winner of this year’s Chinese Girl beauty pageant.Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome presents top prize to 7-year-old Waralak “N’ Get” Uthaensud, winner of this year’s Chinese Girl beauty pageant.

Women perform a beautiful lotus dance at the Royal Garden Plaza Pattaya.Women perform a beautiful lotus dance at the Royal Garden Plaza Pattaya.

The Lion show wows the crowd in Pattaya.The Lion show wows the crowd in Pattaya.

Contestants parade along the catwalk during the Miss Qipao 2013 contest.Contestants parade along the catwalk during the Miss Qipao 2013 contest.

Eng Kor performers are always a big part of all Chinese festivals, especially at New Year.Eng Kor performers are always a big part of all Chinese festivals, especially at New Year.

Chinese women perform a traditional dance.Chinese women perform a traditional dance.

A young girl performs her best in the children’s talent show, part of the Chinese Girl Contest.A young girl performs her best in the children’s talent show, part of the Chinese Girl Contest.

(L to R) (left) First runner-up Kankullaya Chimphleewanasrom, Miss Qipao 2013 Sripassorn Buangsruang and Miss Photogenic Wilolak Ouaysirikul smile for the cameras.(L to R) (left) First runner-up Kankullaya Chimphleewanasrom, Miss Qipao 2013 Sripassorn Buangsruang and Miss Photogenic Wilolak Ouaysirikul smile for the cameras.

Beautiful woman in Qiapo dresses wish everyone a happy new year.Beautiful woman in Qiapo dresses wish everyone a happy new year.

Last modified on Friday, 15 February 2013 11:14
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