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Public Holiday > Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

2019 and 2020 Chinese New Year Holiday

Chinese New Year was made into an official holiday in Indonesia since 2003. The holiday is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese calendar. The celebration of Chinese New Year will typically be ended with Cap Go Meh or Lantern Festival, on the fifteenth day of the year which marks the first full moon after the Spring Festival and of the New Year. On Cap Go Meh, people usually celebrate by having a family dinner.

In Indonesia, Chinese New Year is filled with fireworks and lion dance performance. Most temples will be open for public, and Chinatown areas in many places will be decorated with lanterns and other related new year ornaments. Both domestic and foreign tourists find the Chinese New Year holiday to be very attractive.

YearDateDayPublic Holiday
2019 5 February Tuesday Chinese New Year
202025 JanuarySaturdayChinese New Year

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In 2019, the Chinese New Year holiday is expected to fall on Tuesday, 5 February. This means you will have a Monday squeezed between two holidays: Sunday and Tuesday. For those of you who work 5 days a week on weekdays, you will be able to take this opportunity to take a day off on Monday and get a four-day weekend. A great way to spend your four-day weekend in the spirit of Chinese New Year will be to visit some of Indonesia’s Chinatown like the one in Singkawang, West Kalimantan or in Kota Lama Semarang.

The holiday will be a little different for 2020 since Chinese New Year is forecast to fall on Saturday, 25 January 2020. This means, there won’t be the long holiday for the Chinese New Year celebration. However, based on the Chinese zodiac, 2020 is the Year of the Rat which should bring a lot of luck

The color red domination

For Chinese New Year celebration, most of the ornaments related to this occasion are red-colored, from clothing to decorations. The color red is believed by the Chinese as a symbol of strength, prosperity, and luck.

Besides, according to the Chinese mythology, the color red is able to cast out evil spirits. This is why the Chinese decorate their homes with red decoration and wears red clothing for the Chinese New Year celebration. Not to be missed, there also large red candles which are lit around the temples during the festival.

Prohibition to eat porridge and to turn fish over

On Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner, you will be likely to find 12 dishes which symbolize the 12 Chinese zodiacs according to Chinese beliefs. Some compulsory dishes for Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner are long noodles, a whole chicken, Chinese New Year cake (kue keranjang), and oranges. The philosophy behind the dishes are, long noodles symbolize long life, whole chicken represents prosperity, while Chinese New Year cake and oranges are believed to bring blessing and luck.

Uniquely, the Chinese also prohibits eating porridge and turn fish over (to consume the meat on the other side) during the celebration. This is because eating oatmeal symbolize poverty and turning fish over symbolize bad luck for the new year.

Red envelope without the number ‘4’

Red envelope is one of the traditions that is always practiced in Chinese New Year. Giving out red envelope means giving or sharing a little of your blessings to children and the elderly in the family. For Chinese people who are married, giving out red envelopes is a must. You are still allowed to receive red envelope if you are still single even when you’re over 20.

There is no exact amount for the money you’re giving out, but there is a prohibition not to give money with an amount equal to number 4. In Chinese belief, number 4 is considered bad luck. An odd number is also not allowed since it believed to be related to a grievance. It is recommended to give out a red envelope with the amount referred to the number 8 since number 8 in the the Chinese language is pronounced ‘ba’ which also means ‘rich.’

There are many ways to spend Chinese New Year holiday, in 2019 the holiday might last longer than in 2020, and it is better for you to plan your trip ahead. This way, you can pick your destinations freely, catch better deals, and save more holiday money.

For an easier holiday planning, you can use Traveloka. By only using one application, you can book your flights, hotel rooms, and other travel activities. To save even more money, get a special deal by booking your hotel and flights together through the Flights + Hotel package. Let’s plan your holiday now with Traveloka!

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