A truly festive season returned to Pattaya for Christmas, with music, prayers and Santa outfits highlighting the start of the holiday week.
Pattaya students sang Christmas carols at the Diana Group hotels and a Christmas Eve lucky draw hosted by Managing Director Sopin Thappajug saw guests and other visitors win a full sleigh of presents. Everyone, however, got to enjoy a sumptuous buffet of food and drinks.
Santa himself made an appearance at the Thai Garden Resort where he traded in his sleigh for an elephant loaded with holiday gifts. The sight of old St. Nick on a pachyderm attracted plenty of photos and guests. Area children were rewarded with toys, sporting goods and other presents.
The religious meaning of Christmas trumped Santa at area churches, however.
At St. Nicolas Church, the celebration began with music, a lucky draw, food and drink before a Christmas Eve mass. Christmas day at the North Pattaya church featured a Roman Catholic mass. Children from the Human Help Network Thailand, dressed in white with Santa’s hats, sang Christmas hymns.
The Pattaya Church hosted a family-style holiday meal and a lucky draw before children put on song and dance performances.
The Pattaya Orphanage organized a magical Christmas party for the children that included gifts and prizes. Santa was on hand, of course, while the youngsters celebrated after performing in their Christmas pageant.
Orphanage Director Fr. Weera Pangrak and Human Help Network Director Ratchada Chomjinda kept the festivities moving along. Raffle prizes included electronic goods, TV’s, refrigerators, mobile phones, microwaves, teddy bears, bicycles, a half baht gold chain, a quarter baht gold chain, dinner vouchers, beverages and more. Most prizes were donated by the kind-hearted residents. Hundreds of these good people attended the event, and all funds raised on the night are designated to support the education of the children in the orphanage through scholarships.
At Jamesons Irish Pub, landlord Kim Fletcher put on a Christmas feast befitting the occasion. Word must have spread how good it was, for the entire restaurant was filled for both shifts. Everything was delicious, but special mention must go to the Christmas pudding and the divine pate.
Whether it was in the pews or the pubs, the holiday was a festive one in Pattaya. Central Marina and Central Festival shopping malls, the [email protected] Hotel, Hard Rock Cafe and Royal Garden Plaza were among the many venues lit with holiday cheer and decorations.
Tourists and even children got into the spirit, with parents dropping their little ones off at school decked out in red and white.
Costume and wholesale shops from Pattaya to Bangkok reported good business in Santa suits while fashion outlets sold out of red dresses and headbands.
Bangkok Hospital Pattaya even found Santa outfits in sizes to fit newborns. From Dec. 23-26, the hospital wrapped up newborn infants in Santa and Mrs. Claus suits made from premium materials that wouldn’t chafe the new babies’ skin.
The Christmas spirit also was alive and well in Pattaya-area neighborhoods.
In the Soi Korphai Community, President Wirat Joyjinda welcomed the Christian Asian Inter Clinic Club to a holiday party where volunteers provided free medical and dental checkups.
Everyone was invited to enjoy free food and drinks while kids played games. The day ended with community leaders handing out gifts to all the children.