From Dragon Dances To Sui Mai Feasts: Inside Kolkata’s Tiretta Bazar’s Chinese New Year Extravaganza

Discover a community's enduring legacy and celebrate unity, tradition, and the promise of a prosperous future.

by Mallika Khurana
From Dragon Dances To Sui Mai Feasts: Inside Kolkata’s Tiretta Bazar’s Chinese New Year Extravaganza

In the heart of Central Kolkata, nestled near Lalbazar, lies a vibrant enclave known as Tiretta Bazar, a captivating neighbourhood also affectionately referred to as Chinatown. It’s a place where history whispers through the bustling streets and the fusion of cultures paints a tapestry of diversity and resilience. 

All About Kolkata’s Chinese New Year Festivities

Chinese new year kolkata
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Once a bustling hub teeming with a thriving Chinese community, Tiretta Bazar stands as a living testament to Kolkata’s rich cultural mosaic. In its heyday, it was home to a vibrant tapestry of approximately 20,000 Chinese residents. They each contributed their unique talents to a kaleidoscope of industries ranging from dentistry to shoemaking. The air was filled with the aromas of spices and the sounds of languages intermingling, showcasing the vibrant pulse of a bygone era.

Despite the passage of time and the inevitable changes it brings, the spirit of Tiretta Bazar endures. While the Chinese population may have dwindled, the neighbourhood retains its allure. It’s a place where tradition dances hand in hand with modernity, creating a symphony of cultural harmony.

Nowhere is this harmony more palpable than during the vibrant festivities of the Chinese New Year. As the Year of the Dragon unfurls its wings, Tiretta Bazar becomes a beacon drawing expatriates and visitors alike to its colorful embrace. Streets adorned with auspicious red decorations pulse with the energy of reunion and renewal.

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A Fusion Of Flavours, Festivities, And Heritage

Chinese new year kolkata
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The celebrations are a sensory feast, where the sights, sounds, and flavours of Chinese culture come alive. From traditional prayers and rituals honouring ancestors to the lively dragon dances that weave through the streets, each moment is infused with symbolism and meaning. It’s a time for feasting on a tantalising array of culinary delights. The aromas of sui mai and chilli chicken mingle with the fragrant spices of biryani.

But the festivities extend far beyond Tiretta Bazar’s borders. They reach into neighbouring communities like Tangra and Achipur, where echoes of tradition resonate through the ages. In Achipur, the grave of Tong Achew, Kolkata’s pioneering Chinese settler, serves as a reminder of the community’s enduring legacy. Amidst the whirlwind of celebrations, a profound sense of unity and belonging transcends cultural boundaries.

In Tiretta Bazar, the Chinese New Year celebrates resilience, heritage, and enduring bonds.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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