Mighty "Merah Putih", Indonesian Flag

Mighty “Merah Putih”, Indonesian Flag

Last 2nd March 2013, I, my little brother, and father went to see Cap Go Meh festival, held in Bandung City, Indonesia. It was a tradition started few years ago, made as annual festival event by Bandung’s government. CAP GO MEH, like its name, means fifteenth (cap go) night (meh), in English it’s called “Lantern Festival“. It remarks end of Chinese Lunar New Year week, and is believed to be “the beginning of spring”. Bandung Cap Go Meh “Kirab Budaya” (Culture Festival) always started from Buddhist people praying in Vihara Dharma Rhamsi (Dharma Rhamsi Temple) in Jalan Cibadak, went to specific route, and back to the start point.

Since my sister had hepatitis at that day, only we three took brief visit to see the festival. I captured some pictures, but -again- wordpress couldn’t attach MP4 files..

Lion / Barong Dance! Someone ought to have good physical strength. I miss playing wushu.

Lion / Barong Dance! Someone ought to have good physical strength. I miss playing wushu.

Dragon Dances! It's not the longest, and wordpress can't upload .mp4

Dragon Dances! It’s not the longest, and wordpress can’t upload .mp4

Ta Pe Kong carrier (I believe it was in Hokkien language), praying and wishing good luck to houses they visited

Ta Pe Kong carrier (I believe it was in Hokkien language), praying and wishing good luck to houses they visited

Since it was “Culture Festival”, we added traditional Sundanese dances and attractions on it. As you have known, Java divided by two big ethics, mainly Sundanese (Western part) and Javanese (Mid and Eastern part). Every race/ ethics have their own traditional dances, languages, songs, and culture. So you might encounter Sundanese culture in Bandung’s Cap Go Meh and Makassar’s culture in Makassar’s Cap Go Meh festival. And I saw Vietnamese Cap Go participants with their costumes too! There were foreign tourists experienced this Chinese tradition by joining in lifting the ta pe kong.  Hehe.. You can absolutely do that too if you want. Just visit temple’s participant (like, Vihara Dharma Rhamsi or another Vihara/ Temple) and sign yourself.

Red Lantern, symbol of Chinese New Year, full of prosperity

Red Lantern, symbol of Chinese New Year, full of prosperity

Decorated Cars parade time! Look who we have there

Decorated Cars parade time! Look who we have there

traditional Sundanese play and comedic act, the tall people over there are men walking with "egrang" (bamboo)

traditional Sundanese play and comedic act, the tall people over there are men walking with “egrang” (bamboo)

Marching Band singing "Bandung Lautan Api" (Bandung, Sea of Flame)

Marching Band singing “Bandung Lautan Api” (Bandung, Sea of Flame)

marching band

marching band

It was always fun to see traditional dances, the lion-dragon dancers and those sea of people gathering in same city, same road, regardless your ethnicity, race, religion, political view, or gender. Everyone enjoyed the festival, and wished us good luck. See you next year? : D

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