News – PH – In the shadow of COVID-19, Southeast Asians usher in the year of the ox


Chinese communities across Southeast Asia began ringing on Friday in the Year of the Ox, but the celebrations lost some of their luster for business owners as people across the region celebrate under the influence of a global pandemic

China refers to the lunar event as the Spring Festival, which culminates in February 26 this year It marks the start of a new year in the traditional Chinese calendar

Participants enliven lion and dragon dances along with other traditions including handing out money in red packets – the color symbolizing good luck – during the family dinner

In the Philippine capital, the Sicat family created dragons to usher in the New Year in Binondo, a district of Manila that is home to the oldest Chinatown in the world – founded in 1594

“Last year we were fortunate enough to have just enough income while celebrating the Chinese New Year to survive the many months of lockdown,” said Claire Sicat, 68-year-old matriarch of the BenarNews family

Eight members of the Sicat family are involved in the business and play a special role in transforming paper mache into colorful serpentine heads

“But when the COVID-19 lockdown began, all was lost,” said another member of the Sicat clan

In Thailand, the Bangkok pandemic announced that there would be no major celebrations in Chinatown, the Thai capital, resulting in many traders closing their stores while families planning smaller celebrations

“Since the start of the new year, we haven’t felt good about business or work This is Why We Come to Pray and Earn Blessings (Merit and Donations) At least it makes us feel better mentally, Kunlanan Boonsoong told BenarNews. “We are not expecting much this Chinese New Year, we just wish that everything is okay and we are all fine”

Jojo Rinoza in Manila, S Mahfouz in Kuala Lumpur, Nontarat Phaicharoen in Thailand and Budi Embong in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia contributed to this report

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News – PH – In the shadow of COVID-19, Southeast Asians usher in the year of the ox