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Chinese New Year (Imlek)

Imlek is a celebration of the Chinese New Year. In four-season countries, it is also known as the Spring Festival – to welcome the spring. Since it is based on the lunar calendar, the date varies every year. On February 10, 2024, we celebrate the Chinese New Year 2575.

Imlek is the time for family gatherings and wishes for good health and prosperity. One of the Chinese Indonesian traditions on Chinese New Year’s Eve is to have a family dinner. Some continue the festive by praying in the temple.

On New Year’s Day, the younger family members visit their parents and elders to greet them. Children usually receive hongbao – a red envelope filled with money. It represents the blessings from the elder to the young.

On the day of Imlek, it is customary for people to wear new clothes, typically red ones, to keep bad spirits and bad luck away. Not just for themselves, but people also buy new clothes for their children, parents and elders. As a result, shopping malls often organize sales, including midnight sales.

You can find a variety of red clothes, such as batik, dresses, cheongsam, and shirts, many of which are adorned with dragon prints. This year being the year of the dragon, Mushu, the little dragon from Disney’s Mulan, also makes an appearance.

In Indonesia, the Chinese New Year, also known as ‘Tahun Baru Imlek’ or ‘Tahun Baru Cina.’ However, interestingly, the word ‘imlek’ is originally from the Hokkien language, which means ‘lunar calendar.’

Along with Chinese people worldwide, Chinese in Indonesia celebrate this most important holiday, which begins on the second new moon after the winter solace, with great enthusiasm.

During the celebration, greeting one another with ‘Gong Xi Fa Chai is customary,’ translated as ‘congratulations on getting rich.’

Finally, I wish you a Happy Chinese New Year that brings good luck, good health, and prosperity.

 

 

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