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Behind the Pasar Gede Lanterns Festival


Photo by Birda Mudafiuddin
lpmcampus.ukm.ums.ac.id- (02/23)- Red lanterns along Pasar Gede streets, Chinese-themed paper statues, and the crowd cheer the 2569 Imlek Celebration in Solo. Imlek is the New Year celebration in the Chinese calendar. 

In Solo, Imlek is celebrated by people from many ethnics, races, religions, and classes. Various cultural events from both Indonesian and Chinese appear to mark this celebration. People from various cities and even foreign countries participate in this event.

The center of Imlek celebration in Solo is at Pasar Gede. Here, people will be welcomed by Putra New Airlangga Orchestra from Cilacap. The orchestra consists of ten people. They play jendung, xylophone, angklung, drums, and gedug. In front of them, they put a biscuit tins to collect the money from the visitor. 

People can give it or not, depend on their willingness. Nata, one of the personnel told us that they have staying for 2 years in Solo. If there is no special event, they used to play around the market. Sometimes, they also perform in Jakarta. 

Moving 25 meters to the north of Pasar Gede Clock, there is a Betawi traditional food namely kerak telor. Johan (25) departs from his home in Karanganyar at 5 pm. 

He rides a motorcycle and carries the ingredients and equipment with him. According to him, more visitors come at the D-day and at night. He also adds that this year is more crowded than the previous years.

This year, every vendor must pays 7 thousands rupiah for cleaning service while the previous year, they only paid 2 thousands rupiah. 

They also pay 380 thousand rupiahs to rent a place. The money collector does not come from the government, but a community made by the citizen.

Chinese New Year celebrations will be held until March 2nd. The event usually starts at 4-5 pm, but you can come here at any time you want. Hopefully, this harmony and happiness will continuously stay in Indonesia especially Solo. 

Happy 2569 Chinese New Year!
Photo by Birda Mudafiuddin
Written by: Ardhi Setiawan and Hikmatiya Larasati

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