Pattaya celebrates a warm, merry Christmas

Friday, 04 January 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 1 By  Warunya Thongrod & Vittaya Yoondorn

Christmas may not be a legal holiday in Thailand, but thousands of tourists and residents still get into full spirit for the Dec. 25 occasion, despite unseasonably warm temperatures that made it hard to imagine the North Pole.

Main roads from Naklua to Jomtien Beach were fitted with Christmas trees while loudspeakers blared holiday carols, infusing Pattaya with the holiday atmosphere. Hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and beer bars across the area were a sea of red Santa hats, with plenty of would-be elves decked out in red-and-while miniskirts as well.

Bishop Emeritus Lawrence Thienchai Samanjit celebrates mass at St. Nicholas Church.Bishop Emeritus Lawrence Thienchai Samanjit celebrates mass at St. Nicholas Church.

At the Dusit Thani Hotel, General Manager Chatchawan Supachayanont organized a Christmas party featuring international cuisine, with guests at pool side dressed to impress. Santa Claus made his visit and the hotel entertained with concerts and magic shows, as well as prize drawings.

At the Holiday Inn Pattaya, General Manager Garth Solly celebrated with family visiting from India. Santa and Santarina handed out gifts to children around the Christmas tree as cellos and guitars played carols in the background.

Down the road at Diana Inn, Managing Director Sopin Thappajug hosted a fireworks display during a party featuring Maori dancers, dance performances and songs from Father Ray Foundation children.

Of course, most the merry making went on outdoors on Walking Street where businesses offered special promotions, booths sold costumes and novelty gifts. Police swarmed the area to keep the mood festive.

Many also remembered the Christian religious nature of the holiday and marked the birth of Jesus Christ at their local churches, such as the mass held at St. Nikolas Church.

Amazing acrobatics are part of the Christmas show at Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya.Amazing acrobatics are part of the Christmas show at Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya.

Maori dancers perform on Christmas Day at the Diana Inn.Maori dancers perform on Christmas Day at the Diana Inn.

Vendors line Walking Street, selling Christmas hats.Vendors line Walking Street, selling Christmas hats.

It’s a festive Christmas atmosphere on Walking Street.It’s a festive Christmas atmosphere on Walking Street.

Tourists certainly enjoy themselves celebrating Christmas on Walking Street.Tourists certainly enjoy themselves celebrating Christmas on Walking Street.

This boy is truly excited to meet Santa Claus at Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya.This boy is truly excited to meet Santa Claus at Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya.

Women dress in their best Christmas outfits to perform their special show at Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya.Women dress in their best Christmas outfits to perform their special show at Dusit Thani Hotel, Pattaya.

Children from the Father Ray Foundation sing Christmas carols at Diana Inn Hotel.Children from the Father Ray Foundation sing Christmas carols at Diana Inn Hotel.

Street performers block the way along Walking Street, making it difficult to get past.  Some people enjoy it, though.Street performers block the way along Walking Street, making it difficult to get past.  Some people enjoy it, though.

Tourist police and volunteers are out in full force to assist tourists along Walking Street.Tourist police and volunteers are out in full force to assist tourists along Walking Street.

A beautiful nativity scene at St. Nicholas Church.A beautiful nativity scene at St. Nicholas Church.

Catholics celebrate mass at St. Nicholas Church.Catholics celebrate mass at St. Nicholas Church.

Pattaya Orphanage children sing Christmas carols at St. Nicholas Church.Pattaya Orphanage children sing Christmas carols at St. Nicholas Church.

Youngsters dress in their favorite Christmas costumes during mass at St. Nicholas Church.Youngsters dress in their favorite Christmas costumes during mass at St. Nicholas Church.

Staff at the Holiday Inn sing Christmas carols to bring happiness to customers on Christmas Day.Staff at the Holiday Inn sing Christmas carols to bring happiness to customers on Christmas Day.

Diana Inn MD Sopin Thappajug (center) celebrates Christmas with friends and guests at Diana Inn.Diana Inn MD Sopin Thappajug (center) celebrates Christmas with friends and guests at Diana Inn.

Holiday Inn General Manager Garth Solly (left) and his family pose with Santa for Christmas.Holiday Inn General Manager Garth Solly (left) and his family pose with Santa for Christmas.

Santarinas distribute gingerbread men during Christmas at Holiday Inn.Santarinas distribute gingerbread men during Christmas at Holiday Inn.

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