Chinese New Year, Yangon, Burma 2010
A red archway has appeared in Yangon Chinatown! Well, this is not the permanent archways you see in other Chinatowns. Instead, it is a New Year archway specially set up by Tiger Beer to welcome the Year of the Tiger, Chinese New year 2010.
It means that the Chinese in Burma are getting ready to prepare for the Chinese New Year or that they have already started the count down to welcome the Tiger.
Appearing together with this archway are all sorts of goods required for the Chinese New year celebration. The fruit stores have begun offering mandarin oranges that is required for exchange and as gifts before and during the Chinese New year period.
The Burmese Chinese sweet cakes (甜糕) popular with local Chinese are also offered together with other Chinese New year pastries, sweets and cakes. Preserved meat and bakkua are also available as New Year goodies. Children will like the plastic gold tiger with candies inside, a particular attractive gift for the year of the tiger.
The shops offering New Year ornaments have basically turn red being cramped with couplets, lanterns, banners and red packet for sale. Most of these ornaments are in the very auspicious red color with gold decorations.
The most attractive time to visit Yangon Chinatown is just after sunset. The stores, shops and even the New Year archway light up creating a very festive ambience. This is also the time when many people come to shop after work or as a night out with family while tourists aiming for the best shot.
Most of the shoppers have dinner at one of the many restaurants and small stalls offering a wide range of food. After dinner, New Year shopping starts. Some shoppers will also drop by the Cantonese Guan Yin temple for a quick prayer before continuing their shopping.
Like in previous years, the area outside the Cantonese Guan Yin temple is a popular shopping area offering mostly flowers, fruits and clothes.
Similar to other Chinatowns, the crowds get bigger towards Chinese New Year as people rush to do last minute shopping. Perhaps not surprising, the heavier crowds makes the New Year markets even more attractive and more atmospheric.
Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants start promoting their Reunion dinner packages and are expecting very good business during the Chinese New Year period.
Early or late shopping, Yangon Chinatown counts down and gets ready to welcome the Year of the Tiger.