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.