The Chinese New Year, which will fall on February, 16, is a good news to everyone, even to those who are not celebrating the festivity. The holiday will mark a three-day long weekend to spend with your loved ones.
Jakarta is a top choice to go whenever Lunar New Year is just around the corner. A home to many Chinese-Indonesians, the capital of Indonesia is set to joyfully ring in the festival, locally known as Imlek, with numerous celebrations and also mouth-watering cuisines. Below are ideas to spend the Chinese New Year's holiday in Jakarta:
1 | See the Acrobatic Barongsai and Liong
Image by: Barongsai
Prior to the Chinese New Year, shopping malls in Jakarta starts the lively celebration by brightly decorating their properties and holding Chinese food festival. These malls usually feature acrobatic Chinese lion and dragon dance, also known as Barongsai and Liong. The Barongsai and Liong dance to the beat of drums and clashing cymbals as they jump from one pillar to another.
The traditional dance depicts a story of repelling an evil called Nian, which is represented by the lion. Meanwhile, the dragon dance is seen as a way to glorify Thian, or god in Chinese culture.
Most malls in Jakarta offer special Barongsai and Liong shows during the festivity. We recommend to visit Mall of Indonesia in North Jakarta, Mall Taman Anggrek in West Jakarta, and Pacific Place in South Jakarta.
Mall of Indonesia
Address: Jl. Boulevard Barat Raya, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta
Opening hours: 8am-10pm
Mall Taman Anggrek
Address: Jl. Letjen. S. Parman Kav. 21, Grogol Petamburan, West Jakarta
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Address: Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 52-53, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
2 | Visit festivities, grab delish food in Jakarta's Chinatown
Image by: Food in Jakarta’s Chinatown
Jakarta's Chinatown lies in Glodok, West Jakarta. Prior to the Chinese New Year, Glodok will be enlivened with red and gold lanterns and other paraphernalia. Celebrating the festival, Chinese-Indonesian community in Glodok usually holds a stage performance featuring the lion dance (Barongsai) and Lenong, a comic theater performed by the native Jakartans also known as Betawis.
Glodok has also gained popularity as a culinary haven. Its most delicious foods are mostly located along a small alley, called Gang Gloria. Offering mostly non-halal food, restaurants on the alley boasts authentic Chinese food such as pork noodle or chicken curry soup. There's also an old coffee shop established in 1927, Kopi Es Tak Kie, which is famous for its iced coffee.
What to grab at Gang Gloria:
Bakmie ayam (chicken noodle) with fried bakso (meatballs) in Bakmi Amoy
Iced coffee in Kopi Es Tak Kie
Curry sauce with meat and potatoes in Kari Lam
3 | Stroll along temples
Image by: Klenteng Jin De Yuan
With numerous Chinese-concentrated neighborhoods, Jakarta has a lot of temples, locally known as Klenteng. Among others is Klenteng Jin De Yuan in Jakarta Kota, West Jakarta. It is the oldest temple in the capital.
The temple has a lot of Buddha statues dating from before 1740. In its left side is a room for the temple's monks, whose names are written on a stone slab. Jin De Yuan also has the oldest bell in Jakarta which was made in 1825.
Established in 1650 by a Chinese lieutenant Kwee Hoen or Koan-Im Teng, the Jin De Yuan is one of four temples in Jakarta which is devoted to Kwan Im, the Chinese goddess of mercy. The others are Klenteng Goenoeng Sari and Toa Peh Kong – both in Ancol, North Jakarta, Klenteng Hian Thian Shang Tee Bio in Palmerah, West Jakarta.
Klenteng Jin De Yuan
Address: Jl. Kemenangan III Petak Sembilan No. 19, Glodok, West Jakarta
4 | Dine in Crystal Jade
Image by: Dine in Crystal Jade
What is Lunar New Year celebration without a festive banquet? Take your family to enjoy a festive dinner at Crystal Jade restaurant located in Grand Indonesia Mall. This Singapore-based restaurant serves delicious traditional Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisines. Its luxurious interior along with delightful dishes will surely bring vibes of prosperity and warmth for your family in welcoming the Lunar New Year.
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