5 Best Destinations to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Indonesia

Chinese New Year 2020 is coming on January 25. In Indonesia, Chinese New Year, also known as Imlek, is a national holiday celebrated with a lot of traditions and festivities. With a large population of Chinese Indonesians in Indonesia, the culture and traditions are still well-preserved.

Ahead of the Chinese New Year, many Chinese Indonesians who are living apart from their families prepare to go back to their hometowns to celebrate CNY dinner together. Tourists or locals can enjoy CNY celebrations by watching barongsai performances and other attractions.

Chinese New Year Celebrations Across Indonesia

Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout the archipelago. If you happen to be in Indonesia during Imlek, you can enjoy many fun things to do in various cities:

1. Solo

Chinese New Year Indonesia

As a home for many Chinese Indonesians, Solo holds many festivals to celebrate CNY. Don’t miss the annual Grebeg Sudiro tradition in the city’s Chinatown or Pasar Gede area. You can watch the show that showcases the fusion of Chinese and Javanese culture. Grebeg celebration means there would be a huge pile of fruits, vegetables, cakes and people snatch it as fast as possible. To make the tradition more interesting, there may also be a barongsai (lion dance), reog (masked dance) as well. 

Chinese New Year Indonesia

Besides the Grebeg Sudiro, there are also other events to celebrate Imlek in Solo. You can stroll around the main roads on Jl. Jenderal Sudirman and on Jl. Jenderal Urip Sumoharjo and see beautiful lanterns, take selfies and enjoy the city lights.

2. Jakarta

Chinese New Year Indonesia

In Jakarta, Glodok is the place to buy CNY decorations and ornaments. Locals like to buy hong bao (red-colored envelopes) there. In the capital city, people usually celebrate New Year around China Town at Petak Sembilan and Glodok. 

In addition, people will also swarm to the shopping malls to enjoy free lion dance performances. Some people choose to go to the temples to pray for a better year.

3. Semarang

Chinese New Year Indonesia

Semarang’s Chinatown called Semawis is usually crowded during Chinese New Year. Thousands of visitors visit this place to have dinner with their family. There are many food stalls selling Javanese-Chinese foods such as porridge, noodles, dim sum and many more! 

Another activity you can do in Semarang is to visit Sam Poo Kong temple. This attractive temple is influenced by Javanese and Chinese architectural styles. The temple will be decorated with various ornaments to welcome the CNY.

4. Pontianak

Chinese New Year Indonesia

Fortune telling is famous in Pontianak. Usually during Chinese New Year, people go to temples to have their fortune read. This method is known as ciamsi. Basically, as a person shakes a container, a stick will fall. That stick tells your fortune. 

In Singkawang, you can see big lanterns representing 12 Chinese Zodiacs on the protocol roads. Animals such as dragon, rooster, chicken, represent the philosophies in Chinese culture. Apart from the celebration, you can find many stores in the shopping malls selling Chinese sweet snacks such as kue keranjang (basket cake) and dodol (sweet and chewy delicacy).

5. Magelang

Chinese New Year Indonesia

In Magelang, the Chinese New Year celebration is marked by the lion dance on Jl. Pemuda, Jl. Jenggolo and Jl. Tentara Pelajar. You can also go to Liong Hok Bio temple in Magelang. There are many types of dance in Magelang such as Topeng Ireng, Soreng, Reog Merapi and Reog Ponorogo.

Welcoming Chinese New Year in Indonesia

Tourists and locals can enjoy Chinese New Year celebrations in various cities across the archipelago. If you’re in Indonesia during Chinese New Year, you can spend your precious time with family and friends.

If you are planning to go back to your hometown before Chinese New Year, you can book a train ticket via tiket.com. Have a fantastic holiday with your loved ones, t-mates!