In Indonesia, Chinese New Year is known as ‘IMLEK‘ and has become a popular holiday celebrated by all Indonesians, not just the estimated 2.8 million Indonesians of Chinese descent.
When is Chinese New Year?
Lunar New Year is a public holiday in several countries in South East Asia.
Chinese Lunar Year begins at sunset on the day of the second New Moon following the winter solstice (21st December). This means the New Year can begin anytime from January 21st through to February 21st.
Red Clothes and Ang-Pao
Everyone makes an effort to wear new clothes that are predominantly red. The first person one meets and the first words heard are significant. These Ang Pao envelopes are filled with money and given to children and other family members. as to what one’s fortunes will be for the coming year. So, children pai-pai to their parents and wish them “Gong Xi Fa Cai” meaning ‘Wishing you prosperity’.
Parents give their children ang pao, a small red envelope containing money. Ang pao is also given to children of close relatives and unmarried family members after they have wished an elder Happy New Year.