Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year in Bandung: The Barongsai Performance



As of mid-night last night, Chinese all over the world welcome the new lunar year of 2560. Happy New Year to those who celebrate it.

Although Chinese only makes up a small percentage (roughly about 5 - 7 percent) of the Indonesian population, the Chinese New Year, called Imlek or Sin Tjia in Indonesian, is a national holiday and a festive celebration here. The celebrations involve not only the ethnic Chinese but also Indonesians of other ethnicity.

The Chinese would normally go to the temple to pray on the New Year's Eve. It is also customary for them to give "Ang Pao" (envelopes containing gift money) to the poor and their relatives after the prayer, have a family gathering, feast, and fire works. In addition to these, different cultural performances are also staged. One such performances - and the most popular here - is the Barongsai (the Dragon-Lion Dance) shown in these photos.

I took these photos at Ciwalk (Cihampelas Walk) today. In the top photo, a child is giving an Ang Pao to one of the Barongsais. The bottom photo shows the crowds enjoying and cheering at the various acrobatic tricks that these Barongsais were performing.

13 comments:

Laurie said...

Happy New Year, Eki! These are wonderful captures of the celebration.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Your photographs on this even are just stunning and fairly shine on my monitor. Congratulations on a very nice post.

Carrie Hayes said...

This looks like it would be fun to watch! Great shots.

ramblingwoods.com said...

And a very Happy New Year to all..

Hilda said...

Love that first photo with the child and the dragon! :)

M.Kate said...

I have seen so many lion dances to last me a whole year, but that is a nice colour, one in red. Happy holidays, we have 2 days public holidays here and most offices are closed for a week.

Mahmud Yussop said...

Coincidentally I was inside the lion's mouth today( See my post @ my kambatik world) Happy New Year of the OX.

Lisa B. said...

Happy New Year!! Wonderful photos. I especially love the first one...and even more so knowing the child is giving the dragon/lion an Ang Pao! How sweet is that?!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It really speaks to me that someone from so far away would stay up so late to watch this countries inauguration. Until those last crooks made such a mess of everything...I don't think I realized the impact our country had on the rest of the world.
I too hope to see big changes here and around the world. A lot of weight has been placed on the shoulders of President Obama. He will need the support of all peace loving people from around the globe. I hope we can all provide that for him. I do believe in my heart that he is a good, intelligent and just man. I hope the people of the world will "pray" for him and do what they can to promote peace.

Babooshka said...

These are such lively captures, real sense of the movement of the event. The colours fizz too on the screen.Fascinating write up again. I do miss living in a cosmopolitan area. Happy New Year.

Catherine said...

Fortunately you were in a high position to take the second picture. So crowded.
The first one is stunning. So close to the action. I can feel a very festive atmosphere with all theese colors. I just miss the sound and the smell of the firecrackers.

the donG said...

happy happy new year eki!

Virginia said...

Oh wonderful photos of this wonderful event. I am attending one on Saturday with a family that has two precious adopted daughters from China. I hope my photos are half as great as yours Eki!
V

brag said...

We watched this amazing barongsai at Kota Wisata, Cibubur for the first time in 2000. It was a fascinating dynamic dance, the agility of those dancers and so forth. Kept coming back at the performance on every year till we moved from that satellite city by 2005, stunning photos you have Kang! Gong Xi Fa Choi!