Sino-Thais Celebrate Chinese New Year Pray Day (Photos)

Two people burn incense Thursday at Wat Mangkon in Chinatown.

BANGKOK — It’s that time of the year again, when your friends Lin, Mei or O-tee take the day off, wear their qipaos and go to the temple with their clans.

Sino-Thais nationwide were gathering with their blood relatives Thursday to celebrate the first day of Chinese New Year festivities by burning incense and commenting on family members’ lives. In Yaowarat or Chinatown especially, they flocked to pray in temples and find new year fare.

Although Chinese New Year begins Friday, Thursday is “pray day” when people burn alms and offer fruit for their ancestors and Chinese gods.

The day before “pray day” is “payday,” and Wednesday saw people buying fruit, pig heads, chicken and duck in preparation for today’s festivities. On Friday, the Thai-Chinese will give out angpao, or red envelopes filled with money, and gather with family.

A man hangs Chinese lanterns Thursday morning in Yaowarat.

Thai-Chinese give offerings Thursday at Wat Mangkon in Chinatown.

A woman Thursday holds up paper watches that people can burn, believing they are sent to ancestors in the afterlife.
A woman browses for qipao Tuesday in Chinatown.

A woman poses in a qipao Tuesday in Yaowarat.
Paper glasses and watches on sale for people to burn for their ancestors.
A paper camera, money, airline tickets and a “universal passport” intended to be burned as offerings to ancestors.

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