Lunar New Year Candle at Vihara Dharma Bakti

Lunar New Year Candle at Vihara Dharma Ramsi

Although it was almost late…. oh well. Happy Lunar New Year, may this year be prosperous for all of us, despite of being a water snake year (not eel, I assure you). My family had a nice lunar new year celebration again this year, the same as last year, visiting vihara (what is it in English, is it shrine or temple?) Dharma Ramsi, seeing dragon dance and lion dance, visiting family. I want to share the lion dance and dragon dance video but apparently wordpress doesn’t allow me to upload mp4 format… and the main problem is the internet connection. I guess I’ll share you photographs this year.

Lion Dance, also called Barongsai in Indonesia, bowing for blessing at the entrance before playing

Lion Dance, also called Barongsai in Indonesia, bowing for blessing at the entrance before playing

Let’s wiki attack for a moment. Lion Dance (舞獅) or spelled wǔshī in Chinese, is called Barongsai in Indonesian language. You won’t see that strange vocabulary in English Wikipedia. Perhaps, or so I believe, barongsai is used (in Indonesia) because it looks like a “barong” – mythical ‘lion’ creature in Bali island – and ‘sai’ is Hokkien’s vocabulary for dance (there are many Hokkien Chinese descents here in Indonesia, even the traditional merchants speak in Hokkien like: ce pek (100), go pek (500), go cap (50), ce pe ceng (100,000), ban gou (15,000), ce pek ji gou (125), etc.). Guess what, these lion dance performers are children, not older than 17 years old, and from Sukabumi, which town is well-known for its lion and dragon dancers. Before performing dance, the lions bowing for blessing in front of altar or temple’s entrance.

Jump High!

Dancing Lion Performance at the entrance

Alas, I forgot to take the Dragon Dancers. Ah well. Speaking of the dancers, it is a tradition to give red envelope (hong bao or red packet) to the mouth of the lions / dragons for prosperity and blessing. When the lions / dragons ‘eat’ the packets, they will wish you blessing. But you can also play with the lions, because they have obligation to pursue the red packets to be eaten, by hanging the hong bao high up at the roof with fishing pole, playing hide and seek — as long as you didn’t make the dancers mad.

Oh yeah, it was almost the fifteenth day after Lunar New Year – that means, Cap Go Meh parade in Bandung! The festival will be held at 2nd of March starting in Vihara Dharma Ramsi (Cibadak) to Paskal Hyper Square (H.O.S. Tjokroaminoto). For foreigners who want to see the blending harmony of Indo-Chinese descent’s culture with local culture, wishing for prosperity for new year, and enjoying Bandung’s annual festival, this is your chance. Though, the road will be packed.

The Small Temple brought for Cap Go Meh

The Small Temple brought for Cap Go Meh

Ah yes, as usual, all photos are taken by my N8 camera.