Thai-Chinese living in the heart of the Phuket Old Town area, especially along Thalang Rd and Phang Nga Rd, have decorated their homes in honour of the festive occasion, yet even then the number of houses adorned with the traditional decorations seem to be fewer than in previous years, noted the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) in their own report.
Meanwhile, few people have turned out at the Pud Cho Shrine on Soi Phuthon, off Ranong Rd, to observe annual blessing ceremonies and to make merit, PR Phuket also noted.
The shrine has installed a body temperature monitor at the entrance for preliminary screening, PR Phuket also noted.
Most of the attendees at the shrine were not wearing red clothes, red being an auspicious colour in Chinese culture.
On being asked, some attendees explained that they had not bought new red clothes for the new year in order to save money.
Some said that due to the effects of COVID-19 this year, family members were not able to return to their traditional family homes to celebrate the new year together.
Instead, the attendees were observing simple rituals that must be performed by paying homage to ancestors, at home.
Those still with jobs took time off to pay homage at the shrine and set off some firecrackers, then went back to work.
Elsewhere throughout Phuket Town is “quite lonely”, PR Phuket noted.
Very few people are turning out to worship the gods, or set off firecrackers, both core key aspects of Chinese New Year in Phuket Town in the past.
“Most of them have only a small ritual, and give red envelopes [ang pao] to the children in the family,” PR Phuket reported.
Meanwhile, people are invited to join the Annual Worship Festival 2021 as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
The event will be held at the Phuket Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Rd, Phuket Town,on Friday, Feb 19, from 10:30pm.
Those interested in attending the event can contact the Tourism Development and Promotion Division at Phuket City Municipality at 076-214306.