Chinese New Year celebrations will culminate on Sunday (21/02) with Cap Go Meh festivities. (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)

Cap Go Meh Celebrations in Jakarta

BY :SYLVIANA HAMDANI

FEBRUARY 21, 2016

Jakarta. Chinese New Year celebrations will culminate on Sunday (21/02) with Cap Go Meh festivities.

Cap Go Meh, which literally means the 15th day of the first month of the year, is generally celebrated with a lot of excitement in Chinese communities around the world.

In Jakarta, there are two main areas for the Cap Go Meh celebrations.

In Glodok, West Jakarta, the local government in collaboration with the China Town Art Culture Community, presents the Chinatown Festival 2016 on Jalan Pancoran.

Starting from 9 a.m., there will be a bazaar featuring traditional Chinese accessories, cakes, home decorations and fashion items, as well as stand-up comedy acts and live music on an open-air stage.

As seen on Saturday night, the main street was already adorned with exotic red lanterns and lines of white tents for the festival. The bazaar will last until about 7 p.m.

On Jalan Hayam Wuruk and Gajah Mada, Central Jakarta, the local Chinese communities will present the Cap Go Meh Carnival 2016.

"There will be dozens of decorated floats and Ondel-Ondel [traditional puppets] in the carnival," said Muhammad Adin, a tourist guide.

The mascot of the carnival this year is the monkey king, Hanuman, which will be made into a giant effigy.

Hanuman is chosen as the mascot of the carnival as this year is the year of the fire monkey, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

"There will also be lion and dragon dances during the carnival," Adin said.

The carnival will start from mall LTC Glodok on Jalan Hayam Wuruk at approximately 3 p.m. and will go around the Hayam Wuruk, Glodok and Gajah Mada areas before returning to the mall at 5.30 p.m.

If you still have some energy left after the carnival, you can catch one of the ojek sepeda (bicycle taxis) in the area.

For Rp 15,000-Rp 30,000 ($1.11-$2.22), depending on your negotiation skills, you may ask the driver to take you to the Sunda Kelapa Harbor in Penjaringan, North Jakarta, to enjoy a dramatic sunset among the line-up of old Phinisi (traditional two-masted ship of the Bugis-Makassar ethnic group) in the harbor.

For more information on the festival, visit Jakarta.go.id.

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