Government to keep a close eye on food prices before Chinese New Year
State agencies will closely monitor prices of foods and products in the countdown to Chinese New Year to prevent unfair price hikes, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Thursday.
Anucha said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered related agencies to survey the markets to prevent sellers from taking advantage of consumers during the Lunar New Year festival which started on Sunday.
Anucha added that on Tuesday the Commerce Ministry launched the "Special Discounts for the Year of the Rabbit" campaign, under which participating manufacturers sell specially priced foods and consumer products at over 4,600 retail shops, discount stores and fresh markets nationwide. The campaign aims to help reduce people’s cost of living and will run until Friday.
Products under the campaign include items offered at ceremonies to commemorate the spirits on Lunar New Year. They include boiled whole chicken at the low price of 125 baht/kg, fresh chicken at 65 baht/kg, and offering sets comprising fake money and incense sticks for the spirits starting at 99 baht.
On Lunar New Year, people of Chinese descent in Thailand offer foods at the shrine to the spirits and their ancestors. The food offering traditionally includes a boiled whole chicken or duck and a pig head, along with various desserts and fruits. Most households also light a belt of firecrackers to call the spirits from the other world to accept the offerings, and then burn the fake money so their ancestors can spend in their afterlife.