BANGKOK — Even the time-honored tradition of buying, gifting, and eating mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival seems to pale in the face of the coronavirus’ onslaught on the economy.
The Kasikorn Research Center said that Thailand’s 800 million baht mooncake market shrunk by 15.8 percent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout. The festival, known as the Moon Prayer Day by Thais, falls on Thursday.
“It has been a challenging year for businesses related to the event, especially mooncakes, which usually see market growth every year. But this year, just like other industries, COVID-19 has severely affected people’s purchasing power,” the report said.
Kasikorn said 51 percent of surveyed people did not celebrate the holiday, a 10 percent drop from 2019’s 61 percent.
Of the people who do celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival this year, almost 29 percent said they changed their mooncake-buying habits from the past year to save money. The most widely used method was to buy fewer mooncakes (almost 78 percent) while others bought cheaper ones (19 percent).
Kasikorn Research does not provide information about their methodology.
More of a kanom pia (bing snack) kind of person? In Ang Thong province on Wednesday, Monyaporn Panpong, 37, gave out 1,000 free kanom pia at a local shrine to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival and thank the shrine for “giving” her winning lottery numbers.