Christmas spirit runs high in Pattaya

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Pretty Santarinas perform during the opening ceremony for Pattaya’s Countdown to 2015.  There was no dashing through the snow, but plenty of Pattaya tourists and locals were enjoying the festive season as Christmas and New Year’s came to the area’s beaches, bars and Christian churches.  All of us at Pattaya Mail would like to wish all of you a very happy, safe and prosperous New Year. 

There was no dashing through the snow, but plenty of Pattaya tourists and locals were enjoying the festive season as Christmas came to the area’s beaches, bars and Christian churches.

Tourists filled beach chairs and barstools from Naklua to Walking Street as the highest of high season kicked off Dec. 23. Many posed in front of holiday decorations set up in front of Central Festival Pattaya Beach and Royal Garden Plaza.

Pretty Santarinas perform during the opening ceremony for Pattaya’s Countdown to 2015.  There was no dashing through the snow, but plenty of Pattaya tourists and locals were enjoying the festive season as Christmas and New Year’s came to the area’s beaches, bars and Christian churches.  All of us at Pattaya Mail would like to wish all of you a very happy, safe and prosperous New Year. Pretty Santarinas perform during the opening ceremony for Pattaya’s Countdown to 2015.  There was no dashing through the snow, but plenty of Pattaya tourists and locals were enjoying the festive season as Christmas and New Year’s came to the area’s beaches, bars and Christian churches.  All of us at Pattaya Mail would like to wish all of you a very happy, safe and prosperous New Year.

On Christmas Eve, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome lit the huge holiday tree at the intersection of Beach and Central Roads, the star on the top of all the city’s decorations. Pattaya also placed light decorated houses, trees and reindeer at the end of the Highway 7 overpass entering the city.

More traditional observances of the birth of Jesus Christ took place at St. Nikolaus Church where Rev. Glisada Sukapat celebrated a Christmas Eve Mass for more than 300 faithful.

Both Christians and non-believers attended the ceremony, which also held a holiday fair to raise money for maintenance of the chapel. There also were lucky draws for prizes and musical performances from children.

St. Nikolaus Church hosted a Christmas Eve Mass for more than 300 faithful.St. Nikolaus Church hosted a Christmas Eve Mass for more than 300 faithful.

Christmas Day saw the kickoff of the annual Pattaya Countdown, which ran through New Year’s Eve at Bali Hai Pier.

The opening ceremony saw the lighting of a large Christmas tree and holiday fireworks against the backdrop of the Pattaya City sign.

This year’s Countdown is bigger than ever, with more than 15,000 sq. meters set aside for concerts, activities, food and sales booths.

Bands scheduled to perform over the week-long festival included Body Slam, Slot Machine, 25 Hours, Potato, Big Ass, Da Endorphine, Buddha Bless, Paradox, Rock Rider, Getsunova, Lomosonic, and more.

Tour groups pose for a memorable photo in Central Pattaya.Tour groups pose for a memorable photo in Central Pattaya.

New Year’s Eve saw a city-sponsored 10-minute fireworks performance, anchoring pyrotechnics shows from hotels and venues all along the coast. More than 200,000 people were expected to see the fireworks.

The festival also spread out along Beach Road, with vendors selling food and knick-knacks all along the beach front, along with musical performances scattered along the coast at shopping malls and hotels.

Families pose with Santa and Frosty in Central Pattaya.Families pose with Santa and Frosty in Central Pattaya.

Father Glisada Sukapat, Abbot of St. Nicolaus church, celebrates Christmas Mass with over 300 participants.Father Glisada Sukapat, Abbot of St. Nicolaus church, celebrates Christmas Mass with over 300 participants.

More than 300 faithful celebrated Christmas Eve Mass at St. Nikolaus Church.More than 300 faithful celebrated Christmas Eve Mass at St. Nikolaus Church.

St. Nikolaus Church held a holiday fair, with lucky draws for prizes and musical performances from children, to raise money for maintenance of the chapel.St. Nikolaus Church held a holiday fair, with lucky draws for prizes and musical performances from children, to raise money for maintenance of the chapel.

Frosty says, “I love Pattaya” as he watches over the event at Bali Hai.Frosty says, “I love Pattaya” as he watches over the event at Bali Hai.

Local officials gather at Bali Hai to officially launch this year’s Pattaya Countdown to the New Year festivities.Local officials gather at Bali Hai to officially launch this year’s Pattaya Countdown to the New Year festivities.

A grand fireworks show behind the Pattaya City sign lights up the beginning of Pattaya’s Countdown to 2015.A grand fireworks show behind the Pattaya City sign lights up the beginning of Pattaya’s Countdown to 2015.

Clowns and superheroes entertain the crowds between concert performances.Clowns and superheroes entertain the crowds between concert performances.

Bands scheduled to perform over the week-long festival included Body Slam, Slot Machine, 25 Hours, Potato, Big Ass, Da Endorphine, Buddha Bless, Paradox, Rock Rider, Getsunova, Lomosonic, and more.Bands scheduled to perform over the week-long festival included Body Slam, Slot Machine, 25 Hours, Potato, Big Ass, Da Endorphine, Buddha Bless, Paradox, Rock Rider, Getsunova, Lomosonic, and more.

Security was tight before during and after the concerts at Bali HaiSecurity was tight before during and after the concerts at Bali Hai

Royal Garden Plaza once again this year lit the front of the building with thousands of Christmas lights and a huge Christmas tree.Royal Garden Plaza once again this year lit the front of the building with thousands of Christmas lights and a huge Christmas tree.

Fireworks seem to be coming out from the top of the Christmas tree at Bali Hai.Fireworks seem to be coming out from the top of the Christmas tree at Bali Hai.