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Festive atmosphere prevails in Bangkok Chinatown in Chinese New Year

From rows of red lanterns hanging aloft to the mouth-watering chestnut roasted with sugar, from the luminous dragon dance and lion dance to the songs of Beijing opera- - wandering in the narrow road of Yaowaraj, Bangkok, on the first day of the Chinese New Year, you can feel the prevailing festive atmosphere almost everywhere in this 200-year-old Chinatown.

"I'm very glad all the Chinese are able to celebrate the Chinese New Year festival altogether," said Cai Mingliang, a Chinese-Thai who took his family to join the grand celebration here, "As a descendant of Chinese, I still follow some old traditions of this most important Chinese festival, such as ancestor worship. And on the very first day of the lunar new year, usually the whole family of mine will go and do some shopping."

Performers dance during a ceremony of the China-Thailand 2010 "Happy Spring Festival" program in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 14, 2010. Over 100,000 people took part in the activity celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year and marking the 35th anniversary of the founding of China-Thailand diplomatic relationship.

It was reported that hundreds of thousands of Chinese-Thais would come to this area on the Chinese New Year, which is definitely the most important festival for many Chinese around the world.

Cai and his wife were more than happy to deliver an old- fashioned festival greeting in Teochow (a city in Guangdong province, China) dialect, "Kung Hei Fat Choy (May wealth and riches be drawn your way)!", while his little daughter, wearing a cute red Cheong-sam, was too shy to say anything.

They left and went ahead to enjoy the festival after pointing to me where the show was. "I like the dance by the girls from the Hangzhou province best," said Cai's wife.

Shows were on display at Yaowaraj Road. On an open-air stage, performers from China were giving a great show, including Beijing opera and Chinese national musical instruments playing, which attracted lots of audience and became the highlight of the whole celebration. The show would last from afternoon to 12:00 a.m.

Princess of Thailand Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (C) presides over a ceremony of the China-Thailand 2010 "Happy Spring Festival" program in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 14, 2010.

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