In preparation for the Chinese New Year, the students at our school have been creating and decorating the halls and walls with lanterns, fans, Chinese masks, and other things for the past two weeks or so. Because the Chinese New Year is a holiday for us, there was an all-school Chinese New Year celebration assembly last Friday. Students at all three levels of the school sang Chinese songs and performed Chinese dances, culminating in the traditional lion dance by some of the high school students. Unfortunately, I've only been able to upload this one video, which captures a portion of the lion dance.
There will be celebrations throughout Bangkok, including lion dances and parades at malls and in Chinatown, of course. Many people, including us, are taking advantage of the long weekend for a quick jaunt to the beaches. We are meeting up with a friend whom we met years ago in the U.S., but who has since moved to Asia and is currently living in Macau! It has been at least a decade since we've seen her. She will be on holiday for the Chinese New Year and visiting Thailand. What good timing!
[The only worry we have is the protesting that is still going on and its effect on us going to and from the airport. We're flying out of a different airport this time, so we're not sure how traffic will be. There will be an election on Sunday, the day we return from the beach, and we're unsure how that will turn out. In the past few days, the protests seemed to have ramped up, and one of the protest leaders was killed last weekend. The protestors are calling to block the election. It is a bit worrisome.]
And at 6:30 this morning, on Chinese New Year's eve, the firecrackers began in the neighborhood next to ours. Yes, at 6:30 in the morning. Good thing we were already awake getting ready for the day! When the Thai people celebrate, they go all out!! Happy year of the horse, everyone!