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Published on : Monday, January 11, 2016
On the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, the city of Singkawang in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, will come alive with sparkling festivities in connection with the Cap Go Meh celebration which this year falls on 22 February.
Cap Go Meh in Singkawang attracts thousands of visitors not only from Indonesia but also from the ASEAN region and China.
Cap Go Meh is a special day for the Chinese in Singkawang as well as in other major cities across the Indonesian archipelago. Literally translated Cap in Mandarin means ten, Go means five, and Meh means night, therefore, the 15th night in the Chinese calendar.
During Cap Goh Meh, the Chinese in Indonesia believe that Singkawang will be the central gathering place of the gods, whereas Chinese New Year (known as Imlek) is the time to devoutly thank God and pray for a better year.
Singkawang during Cap Go Meh celebrations is jam-packed with people when the city reverberates with the drum beats and cymbals of lion dances, dragon dances, choi lam shin, when everyone awaits its highlight the parade of Tatung spiritual mediums
Singkawang is the second largest city in the West Kalimantan Province after its capital, Pontianak. With many Sinmau (Chinese shrines) dotting the city, Singkawang radiates a unique oriental ambience.