Adaptation of Chinese New Year Tradition among Thai Chinese in Songkhla Province amidst Modernization

  •  jureerat Buakaew    
  •  Jiraporn Janjula    


The objective of this study was to explore the adaptation of Chinese New Year tradition among Thai Chinese in Songkhla Province amidst modernization.  The data of this qualitative study were collected through in-depth interviews with 30 key informants who were Thai Chinese.  The informants were divided into three groups of 10 people, consisting of young people aged 19 – 24 years, working-age people 25 – 60 year, and elderly people aged 61 years or more.

The results of the study revealed that most Thai Chinese in Songkhla Province have adapted the tradition of Chinese New Year in terms of offerings used in paying respect to spirits emphasizing on conveniences by buying them readymade because many people do not have time to prepare them.  The rituals in paying respect to deities have changed from the past as well because they are not very strict in following the traditional way of doing it any more, especially, the practice concerning the auspicious time to do it but focus more on simplicity and convenience, and adapt it according to the changing situation in manpower and money power.  As a result, they reduce the scale and complication due to the economic condition as fewer children can come back home from their workplace in far ways places, which make it inconvenient for them to travel back and join the New Year festivities.  However, Thai Chinese in Songkhla Province still practice the tradition with the same procedure that has been passed down from generation to generation through telling, teaching, and practicing it.  Consequently, they are proud of the identity of their ethnicity and pass it down continually so that it becomes a powerful way of life among Thai Chinese in Songkhla Province who will preserve it.


Keywords: adaptation, Chinese descendant community, Chinese New Year, Thai Chinese, social change

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.