Setiap tahunnya, Tahun Baru Tiongkok (disebut sebagai Chinese New Year dalam bahasa Inggris) selalu dirayakan dengan meriah di Indonesia. Tradisi ini dikenal oleh semua orang sebagai Tahun Baru Imlek, di mana orang-orang keturunan Tionghoa merayakan perayaan hari besar yang paling penting bagi mereka. Oleh sebab itu, tradisi yang seringkali dilakukan oleh orang-orang Tionghoa di berbagai tempat di Indonesia memiliki kesamaan.
Biasanya, Tahun Baru Imlek sering dirayakan dengan parade besar-besaran dan pesta kembang api. Namun, karena pandemi COVID-19 sedang berlangsung, banyak dari tradisi yang ada harus disesuaikan untuk menjamin kesehatan semua orang. Lagipula, kita harus mengutamakan kesehatan kita terlebih dulu supaya tidak merugikan orang lain, ya ‘kan?
Imlek Traditions in Indonesia in 2021
From the previous short explanation, we can see how certain Imlek traditions must adapt themselves to the current pandemic. Gathering in mass family gatherings can be very dangerous, from increased exposure to ailments to breaking the social distancing law. As a result, we should adapt common Imlek traditions in the year 2021 so that everyone can celebrate Imlek in safety.
Furthermore, the purpose of adapting these traditions is to ensure our health and well-being during this pandemic. While maintaining our health is a priority, we can still celebrate this event in safety. As a result, we can learn how to celebrate this tradition in challenging situations.
Now, without further ado, here are some Imlek traditions that we can do safely!
One of the most famous Imlek tradition is angpau, which is giving money in red paper envelopes. Usually, older members of a family will give angpau to the young ones as a sign of present or gift to them. Angpau itself symbolizes good fortune and joy. Because of that, married families give angpau to others as a sign of hoping for good fortune. Furthermore, people who have no stable jobs can also have angpau as a sign of charity.
However, people usually give angpau directly to other people. To decrease the infection numbers of COVID-19 infectees, adaptations must be done. As a result, some people are thinking of new ways to give angpau. As an alternative, older people can give the money through money transfer in the bank, as seen here. By doing this, they can still hope for good fortune for others while maintaining social distancing. As a result, people can continue the tradition in the safety of social distancing.
Family Feast During Imlek
Apart from giving angpau, the family feast is one of the most famous Imlek traditions in Indonesia. Chinese Indonesians do family feasts during Imlek as a sign of respect and gratitude for the ancestors. By having family feasts, Chinese Indonesians hope that they can share their joy and fortune with the ancestors. In these feasts, nian gao (or kue keranjang/kue bakul in Indonesian) is a staple for Chinese Indonesians during Imlek celebrations. Furthermore, Chinese Indonesians also enjoy a lot of traditional cuisine dishes such as longevity noodles and yusheng (a vegetable dish).
To adapt this tradition into the ongoing pandemic, you should only celebrate the family feast with your core family members. As a result, you can celebrate Imlek with your loved ones while still doing social distancing. Moreover, you can use applications such as Zoom or Google Meet to have family feasts with the extended family members, too!
Cleaning the House Before Imlek
Cleanliness has a unique meaning during the Imlek celebration. Chinese Indonesian traditions believe that cleaning the house before Imlek can invite fortune and happiness to people’s houses. On the contrary, cleaning the house during Imlek will instead wipe away all of these gifts from the house.
As a result, people believe this tradition very much. Similarly, cleaning your house can also increase the cleanliness of your house. In this regard, you can maintain your family’s health by cleaning the house at the right time.
Red-Colored House Decorations
One thing that people will always remember about Imlek traditions is the color red. Traditionally, the red color symbolizes fortune in Chinese traditions. In the legends, the red color is a color that Nian (a human-eating giant) fears the most. As a result, using red color in house decorations by Chinese Indonesians is seen as preventing bad things from happening in the New Year.
Furthermore, people can hope for good things by decorating their houses in red color during Imlek. Hopefully, by using these red-colored decorations, things can be better and hopeful in this New Year and beyond. As a result, you too can be more motivated to face the New Year with your loved ones, too.
Family Gatherings During Imlek
During Imlek, Chinese Indonesians will have family gatherings to meet relatives that they haven’t met for a long time. The essence of these family gatherings is to increase the sense of kinship between extended family members. To do this, the families will come back to their hometowns to visit their family members there during Imlek.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it hard for families to do family gatherings. Direct family gatherings are not encouraged as they can increase the virus’ infection rate. As an alternative, doing video calls can be a way out for families to do family gatherings. By doing this, you can ensure your family’s health and safety while exchanging delightful news with the extended family, too!
From the explanation above, we can see how people can adapt Imlek traditions to the ongoing pandemic. Because of that, we can understand why we should adapt to these traditions to ensure our health and well-being. When reading, have you discovered difficult words that you have not seen before? If so, check this table below.
|English Words||Arti dalam Bahasa Indonesia|
|Infectee||Orang yang terinfeksi suatu penyakit|
|Staple food||Suatu makanan yang sering dimakan|
|Extended family||Keluarga besar|
|Essence||Esensi dari sesuatu|
Finally, we have reached the end of this blog about Imlek traditions in Indonesia in the year 2021. Despite the obstacles, we all should hope and pray for the best for all of us to survive through this condition. Furthermore, if you’re still curious about our content, you can check this blog too. Happy Imlek to all of you who celebrate it!