IMLEK The Chinese Language New Year Custom in Indonesia
Imlek is a particular event of Chinese New Calendar year. In 4 (four) times world it is also known as Springtime Festivity, to celebrate and welcome the early spring. Because it is dependant on moon calendar, enough time frame varies each year. We commemorate the Chinese language New Year of year 2569 on February 16th, 2018 (this year).
Family Gathering at Imlek
Imlek is enough time for family gathering and desires for a perfect health insurance and wealth. The tradition of Indonesian Chinese language is to have dinner with their family on the new year eve. Some persists the festive by praying in the temple.
Over the new calendar year day, the youngest relative visit their parents and his or her brother or sister to greet them and children usually gets hongbao, a red (color) envelope filled money from their brother. It represents the congratulate from the oldest to the youngest.
Red New Clothes at Imlek
Usually people wear new clothes on the new calendar year day plus they favor red ones. They believe red will keep them away from bad spirits and misfortune. They buy new clothes not limited to their children but also for their parents and elders. Hence, nowadays the shopping malls take this opportunity to arrange midnight sale.
In addition to these imlek practices, let's explore special things that only happens in this festive :)
Dragon Dance and Lion Party
The special performance during Chinese New Season is lion party and dragon dance. The Chinese believe that these pets bring success and drive away the misfortune.
The Dragon is taken by many people, since it includes long body. Hence, it usually functions on the street.
Lion dance is popular, because nowadays almost every shopping center in Indonesia invites it. The lion is symbolized by 2 men under one hood. There are many varieties of the party, they can party on desks, on poles, they even can do moonwalk and gangnam style!
The most difficult design of lion dance is the pole lion party. They dance and join 21 poles which may have different elevation and range.
Special offers During Imlek
12 Chinese Zodiac
You can find twelve Chinese language Zodiac:
- sheep or goat,
- dog, and
Five Element of Zodiac
Each one of the Oriental Zodiac has five elements: hearth, metal, normal water, solid wood, and world.
These Zodiacs of Chinese language and their elements take transforms each year, hence, the same mixture is only going to occur every 60 (sixty) years. This season is exactly for Dog with the factor of Globe or earth.
Special Food Imlek
The special food that only made and sold during Chinese language New Season is container cakes, in Sunda we called it dodol keranjang or dodol China, or Nian Gao in mandarin. We called it container cakes because we use a bamboo container as a mildew for the dough.
The main ingredients of the cake are sticky rice and sugar, but now it includes various flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and pandanus (the extract of pandanus leaves supplies the inexperienced color and smells good). We can eat it as is, but many people prefers to steam it with shredded coconut or fries with beaten egg.
Appreciation at Imlek
By the end of the show, we give hongbao to the lion, as our appreciation. Children love carrying it out :)
read : Paket Bintan
Finally, I wish you a Happy China New Year that brings good luck, good health and prosperity.