Chinese New Year

Get ready to welcome the Year of the Pig! One of the most important festivals of any kind, Chinese New Year is celebrated by millions around the world, from mainland China to Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the US, Australia and numerous other countries with a significant Chinese population. Also called the Spring Festival, a nod to the warmer weather to come, festivities start on New Year’s Eve with the Reunion Dinner, when family members come together for the most significant meal of the year, traditionally featuring spring rolls, dumplings, steamed fish and whole chickens. Giant public firework displays, firecrackers and lion and dragon dances herald the New Year, while streets, buildings and houses blaze with lanterns and lavish decorations in lucky red, and children and young people receive red envelopes containing money for a further blessing of good luck.

Festivities continue until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the lunar year (February 19), when people of all ages and backgrounds gather on the streets to celebrate in a tradition that dates back thousands of years. This year, 2019, is the Year of the Earth Pig, according to Chinese astrology – a good year for making money and investing. Bring it on.

Grebeg Sudiro, Solo

Every year, the Chinese–Javanese communities in Solo come together for Grebeg Sudiro in anticipation of Chinese New Year. The Pasar Gede area – Solo’s Chinatown – comes alive with lanterns, auspicious lion and dragon dances, and a giant cone called gunungan, made of thousands of kue keranjang, or Chinese New Year cakes, which is paraded along the streets.