Phuket rings in the Chinese Dragon Year

30 Jan 2012

Phuket Town was the scene of vibrant celebrations last week to welcome in the Chinese Year of the Dragon. On Monday afternoon, people started crowding into the town’s Sanam Chai Park ahead of the main activities.

As the sun set, a walkway festooned with traditional Chinese lanterns lit up the scene. Festival attendees snacked on a diverse variety of regional and Chinese delicacies sold by local vendors.

The crowd in the park was a mix of Thais and foreigners. Traditional dancers and martial arts experts staged some warm-up shows before Phuket governor Tri Augkaradacha addressed the audience. Afterwards, the highlight of the evening’s entertainment began.

The Henan Acrobatic Troupe amazed an enthusiastic audience with a show that combined strength, suppleness and gravity defying balance. Gymnastic excellence was helped along with an assortment of props including trampolines, unicycles and see-saws. Jugs and plates span on fingers and sticks and seemed as if attached by magnets. 

Some of the performers formed a lofty human pyramid that left the audience stunned by the litheness of the acrobats and the strength of the base support person. One of the female artistes provided a great codicil by balancing on the toes of one foot on a strongman’s forehead.

Once the Henan troupe had completed their three acts, an extravagant fireworks display lit up the night sky. The fireworks were followed by various musical entertainers who played late into the evening.

Phuket Town is home to many ethnic Chinese whose ancestors arrived on the island in the 19th century to service the local tin mining industry. Chinese temples and shophouses festooned with Chinese streamers and lanterns provide compelling evidence that the people have not lost their culture or traditions. 

Tags: Chinese Dragon Year

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