Chinese New Year or also widely known amongst Jakartans as Imlek is one of the biggest celebrations in the city, even in Indonesia. Many festive events and promotions are available for the community as well as the citizen. If you’re happening to be in Jakarta during Imlek, here is the list of best things to do with your family or colleagues.

1. Fancy the Chinese New Year dinner at the top restaurants

Traditionally, the festival includes eating what’s called as a ‘reunion dinner’ with the family, distributing red envelopes or ‘angpao’ especially for the unmarried members of the family, lighting of firecrackers, getting new clothes, and putting up red and golden decorations. If you are still looking for the perfect venue to welcome the Year of the Earth Pig, check this list of 20 best places to celebrate Chinese New Year 2021

2. Watch Barongsai and Liong lively performances

Going to malls during Imlek could be a great thing to do, as many malls in Jakarta celebrate the event in a lively manner. Starting from decorating the interior to come up with plenty of Imlek events. One that always awaited by the guests is the acrobatic Barongsai or Liong dance performance. Most malls in Jakarta offer special Lion Dance and Lion gigs during celebrations. We recommend visiting Mall of Indonesia in North Jakarta, Taman Anggrek Mall in West Jakarta, Central Park in West Jakarta, and Pacific Place in South Jakarta.

3. Shop Chinese ornaments at Glodok

Photo: Flickr

During normal days, Glodok, Chinatown Jakarta (West Jakarta), is a place for Jakartans to buy electronics. But before Imlek, this area always became busier, because the Chinese community would come to buy Chinese New Year ornaments. Ranging from red lanterns to cherry blossom trees (imitation) to decorate their homes. Shop here before Imlek, you will feel the strong ambiance of China town thanks to the ornaments sold and typical Chinese music. You can bring home some ornaments as souvenirs as well.

4. Enjoy the best Chinese cuisine in town

As much Chinese community here in Jakarta, we are also blessed with Chinese scrumptious cuisine in the town. Go to the Glodok area to savor the best Chinese-style street food as well as some long-running classic Chinese restaurants. You should also try Pork Mixed Rice, one of the most popular Chinese dishes in Jakarta, at these places. If you’re looking for a Chinese fine-dining experience, worry not like the city completed with these best Chinese restaurants. You can also have a Yum Cha experience at these best dim sum places in Jakarta.

5. Strolling around temples

Photo: Flickr

With numerous Chinese-concentrated neighborhoods, Jakarta has a lot of temples, locally known as Klenteng. Among others is Klenteng Jin De Yuan in Jakarta Kota, West Jakarta. It is the oldest temple in the capital. The temple has a lot of Buddha statues dating from before 1740. On its left side is a room for the temple’s monks, whose names are written on a stone slab. Jin De Yuan also has the oldest bell in Jakarta which was made in 1825. Established in 1650 by a Chinese lieutenant Kwee Hoen or Koan-Im Teng, the Jin De Yuan is one of four temples in Jakarta which is devoted to Kwan Im, the Chinese goddess of mercy. The others are Klenteng Goenoeng Sari and Toa Peh Kong – both in Ancol, North Jakarta, Klenteng Hian Thian Shang Tee Bio in Palmerah, West Jakarta. (Source)

Klenteng Jin De Yuan
Address: Jl. Kemenangan III Petak Sembilan No. 19, Glodok, West Jakarta

6. Watch midnight fireworks

Watching the fireworks light up the dark night is one of the simplest yet rewarding things to do during the Lunar New Year. Most popular places such as malls and even temples hold firework shows so it is almost impossible to miss it. For a better experience, you could witness it from a higher altitude such as from rooftop bars.