Several of our MiceChat columnists have shown us how Disney is celebrating the Chinese New Year in the parks this week. Alain Littaye of the Disney and more blog shows us how the Year of the Horse was celebrated in Bangkok, Thailand. ~~Rick
Year of the Horse: Chinese New Year in Bangkok
by Alain Littaye, Disney and more blog
We have been celebrating the Chinese New Year for the last three days here in Asia – 2014 is “the year of the Horse”. These pictures were shot in Bangkok Chinatown last night and will give you an idea of the atmosphere during Chinese New Year.
I filmed an HD video at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Bangkok, the most important Chinese temple. I’m pretty happy with the result: the whole video – except the 15 sec opening shot – is filmed in just one long sequence. It lasts 8 and a half minutes. Doing one shot moving around in this temple on Chinese New Year with all the people who were there was quite a challenge. The results were quite smooth considering all the temple steps, people going in and out, etc. I was pretty lucky on this one. I had a friend waiting for me outside and couldn’t take the time to shoot a second time.
Below are the pics and the video. I recommend that you view the video in 1080P HD and full screen mode to enjoy the full atmosphere of that very special evening!
Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year” The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors.
Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, and in Chinatowns throughout the world. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors. Wikipedia
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (Thai: วัดมังกรกมลาวาส), previously (and still commonly) known as Wat Leng Noei Yi (Thai: วัดเล่งเน่ยยี่, Chinese: 龍蓮寺; pinyin: Lónglián Sì), is the largest and most important Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand. It hosts celebrations of a number of year-round events, including Chinese New Year, and the annual Chinese vegetarian festival. It is located in the district of Pom Prap Sattru Phai in the city’s Chinatown, in a courtyard off Charoen Krung Road, accessed by an alleyway.
The temple is built in a classic Chinese architectural style, with typical sweeping tiled roofs decorated with animal and floral motifs, including the ubiquitous Chinese dragons. The ubosot (ordination hall) houses the temple’s main, gold colored, Buddha image in the Chinese style, and is fronted by an altar at which religious rites are performed.
The main entrance to the viharn (sermon hall) is flanked by large statues of the four guardians of the world, the Chatulokkaban, clothed in warrior costumes, two on each side. Around the temple there are shrines dedicated to a variety of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian deities and religious figures, all important in local Chinese beliefs.
At the rear of the temple stand three pavilions, one dedicated to the Chinese goddess (or bodhisattva) of compassion, Guan Yin, one to the temple’s founder, Phra Archan Chin Wang Samathiwat, and one to the saint Lak Chao. Near the rear is also to be found a gallery containing cases of gilded Buddha images in the double Abhaya Mudra position.
The courtyard in front of the main temple buildings is home to several other shrines, including a furnace for the ritual burning of paper money and other offerings to the devotees’ ancestors. Wikipedia
Pictures and video: copyright Alain Littaye
Don’t forget the very special presentation by Disney Imagineer Tim Delaney on Saturday, February 8th at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney Anaheim. Tim will also be signing Alain’s book, Disneyland Paris From Sketch To Reality. Tickets to the event (including an option to pre-order the book) are available at this [LINK]. See yesterday’s Weekend Update column for more information about Tim Delaney.