Thursday, February 3, 2011

The History of Chinesse New Year Celebration

Chinesse New Year in Hokkien means calendar month (lunar) or yinli in mandarin language. Lunar New Year in China is better known as Chunjie or celebration of spring, whose activities are often referred to as the activity of Guo Nian, "enters the new year ', which in Indonesia is better known as Konyen. In Indonesia, Chinese people celebrate the Lunar New Year as a celebration of the birth Kong Hu Chu, who was born in the year 551 BC (BCE) So, distinction with the lunar calendar Lunar year AD 551.  The Lunar New Year celebration begins the first day of the first month (Chinese: 政月, pinyin: Zheng Yue) in Chinese callender and ends with Cap go Meh 十五 冥 元宵节 in date 15 (at the time of full moon).
History of the Lunar calendar starting with , the proponent  is Huang Di or Yellow Emperor who ruled (2698-2598 BC), he i, n addition to the High King was also a Prophet and is now known as Mr. Science, because most of his time creating new inventions and world civilization started in those days.

Huang Di dating system works, and later adopted by the founder of the Xia Dynasty (2205-2197 BC) by Emperor called Da Yu, who also is one of the Prophet in the religion of Confucius, but when the office falls replaced Xia Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BC),  the calender system in  Shang Shang Dynasty replaced by a system of dating. When the Shang Dynasty collapsed and was replaced by the Zhou Dynasty (1122-475 BC) dating system was also replaced by Zhou dating system. Since the Zhou Dynasty fell, and a time of war lasted about 254 years. 

After that just starting the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) by Emperor Qin Shi Huang and penanggalannya system named changed again. So it can be said  that in mainland China previously used 4 kinds of systems dating to the Qin Dynasty Xia Dynasty.
Chine people believe that Confucius who lived during the year (551-479 BC), lived in the Zhou Dynasty (1122-475 BC). At that time he saw the majority of the population live from agriculture, the Xia Dynasty, dating system is the best and most suitable, since the beginning of new year falls in early spring, so it can be used as guidance in agriculture.

 Confucious suggested The State to return using calendar, Xia dynasty, however, wise counsel was ignored by the Government at that time. So the Prophet told the Holy Word XV: 11 rings. Xia dynasty " Be dating. " and the word was distributed by his disciples.
After the end of the Qin Dynasty, stand the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) by Emperor Han Wu Di (140-86 BC), exactly the year 104 BC, Xia calendar system was inaugurated as the calendar of State and remains in use today. To respect the Prophet Confucius, the determination of the calculation of his first year since the birth of Confucius and Confucianism was calculated defined as a state religion .

Legend of Fireworks, Barongsai and Lentern in Lunar Celebration
Chinesse Lentern
According to legend, long ago, Nian (年) is a man-eating giant from the mountains (or in many other stories, from beneath the sea), which appears in late winter to eat crops, livestock and even villages. To protect themselves they see themselves, the people put food on their doorstep early in the year. 

It is believed that the Nian will eat food that has been prepared and they will not attack people or stealing livestock and crops. At one time, residents noticed that Nian fled in fear after meeting with small children dressed in red. Residents then believing that Nian was afraid would be the color red, so that every time a new year is coming, the villagers will hang red lanterns and scrolls Kerta in windows and doors. They also use fireworks to scare Nian. Nian habit then grows into the New Year celebration.

Guo Nian (Traditional Hanzi: 过年; Chinese: 过年), which means "welcome the new year", which literally means "drive out Nian". [1] [2] Since then, Nian never returned to the village. Nian was eventually arrested by 鸿钧 老祖 or 鸿钧 天尊 Laozu Hongjun, a Taoist priest and then became the vehicle Honjun Laozu Nian.Therefore, everyone should be able to resist bad weather, with a prayer and put the antidote in the form of red cloth, put fireworks and red dress.
Ready for Barongsai Attraction
Barongsai in Action
Keranjang Cake

Other property during the Chinesse New Year Celebration beside Fireworks and Lenterns is Keranjang Cake or Dodol Tutun (in Indonesia).  Keranjang Cake alias lunkhead China became one of the menu should be available during the celebration of the Lunar New Year arrives. And, it turns out, sweet food made of glutinous rice flour and white sugar yet another meaning of the sublime. This cake called Nian Gao also got a basket-shaped container printing. Keranjang Cake began to be used as offerings to ancestor worship ceremony, six days before the Lunar New Year (Sie Jie Siang Ang), and peak at night Chinese New Year. As an offering, this cake is usually not eaten until Cap Go Meh (15th night after the Lunar New Year) arrived.
Keranjang Cake

Keranjang Cake

Keranjang Cake
The word Nian means "year" and Gao means "cake" which also means "high". Because of that cake baskets are often composed of high or rising. More to the decrease in the composition of this cake. Significant improvement in fortune or prosperity. In ancient times, a cake basket or higher indicates a lot of family welfare homeowners. Usually this cake are prepared to top with red bowl cake on top. It is a symbol of life sweet an increasingly uphill and blossom like a cup cake.
Trusted for this cake was originally conceived as a dish to please the gods furnace fun to bring the report to the King of heaven, Yu Huang Da Di. Furthermore, the spherical form means that families who celebrate Lunar New year is a continuation of a United, harmonious, and the unanimous determination in the face of the coming year.

In China there is a tendency for the Lunar to eat first before you eat rice cake baskets as one can always hope for good luck in his work throughout the year. In Indonesia alone, many cakes are produced in Bogor and Yogyakarta.
Angpao itself is the Hokkien dialect, its literal meaning is a bundle / red envelopes. Since long, red color symbolizes the goodness and prosperity in Chinese culture. The red color shows the excitement, the spirit that will ultimately bring good fortune. Actually, the tradition of giving angpao itself is not the monopoly of the Chinese New Year, but in any event that symbolizes the joy such as weddings, birthdays, new house entrance and lain2, angpao also be found.

Angpao Envelope

Angpao for Imlek
 Angpao on Chinese New Year has a special term that is "Yes Sui", meaning a gift given to children associated with age / turn of the year. In ancient times, these gifts are usually in the form of candy, candy and snacks. In the future, because of times, parents find it easier to give money and let  children decide what gift they would buy. 

The tradition of giving money as gifts Ya Sui appeared around the time of the Ming and Qing. In the literature on Ya Sui Qian children written that use the money to buy fireworks and sweets. This action also increases the velocity of money circulation and economic development in China at that time.
Angpao usually given an older family member with the young. In older people who are considered well established, it is reasonable to give angpau to their parents who are old. Therefore, angpao symbolizes love, from old to young, from a child who has managed to elderly parents. One more in the tradition of angpauo usually provide angpao compulsory for those who are married.

Chinesse New Year Celebration in Indonesia
In Indonesia, during 1965-1998, a celebration of Chinese new year is celebrated in public areas is prohibited. With the Presidential Decree No. 14 of 1967, the regime of President Suharto's New Order, prohibiting everything that smells like Chinese, including the Chinese new year.

Society of Chinese descent in Indonesia regain its freedom to celebrate Chinese new year in 2000, when President Abdurrahman Wahid repealed Executive Decree No. 14/1967. Then, run it with President Abdurrahman Wahid issued Presidential Decree No. 19/2001 of 9 April 2001, who opened the lunar new year, as additional leave (applies only to those celebrating it). New in 2002 (February 12, 2002), Lunar officially declared a national holiday of President Megawati Soekarno Putri.

Imlek 2011 - Rabbit Gold Glory

Chinese Astrology zodiac recognize 12 species iconya are animals with specific characteristics. This is the year 2011, gold bunny. Rabbit in Chinese mythology (Fengshui) is a symbol of longevity and is said Moon down. Rabbits also symbolizes elegance, decency, good advice, kindness and sensitivity to all forms of beauty. His words were soft, and the graceful but swift movements actually form the type of character needed for a successful diplomat or a skilled politician.
So this year is the year of Rabbit Gold friendly. However, I personally do not believe in things like this. Because in fact, began in Golden Rabbit, the  middle eastern countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and possibly Indonesia are trouble by the problem.

Hopefully this year a lot gives a lot of changes and the glory of Indonesia, people are more advanced and prosperous as well as economic and political conditions are stable. Gong Xi Fa Cai... Good Luck to All Indonesian People...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bau Nyale Festival (The Story Behind Traditional Heritage)

If you ever been gone to Lombok Island, you must know what is Bau Nyale Festival. Nyale is a kind of sea worm (anelida) and only can be found in Southern of Lombok Island (Sekaroh, Awang Bay, Terasak, Belowam , Aan, Seger, Belongas, Mawun, Ebuak and Dundang). Nyale is categorized into kelabang worm for it small dotted feet resembling kelabang creature. But meaning of Bau Nyale in Sasak Language means can be lit. Bau Nyale Festival is a traditional festival that celebrate once in a year  , where every people can joint it looks for Nyale .

People attend to the Festival look for Nyale
Nyale  only exist in February - March at Seger, Kuta Beach, Central Lombok  that is why the festival celebrate during that mounths. The worm sill come up when the moon, wind and tide are comming together. This warm can be eaten, sasaknesse usually collect it and cook it together when Nyale Season is come. worms will come out now from midnight until morning when the sea began to recede. colorful worms and will look like when exposed to light rays bouncing off the moon and worms.

Bau Nyale Festival  are events and traditions of the legendary and has a high sacred value for Sasak tribe, the tribe native to the island of Lombok. The tribe descendents that celebrate this tradition include several village in East and Central Lombok.

Bau Nyale (Catching Nyale)

The existence of the party Nyale smell is closely related to a folklore that developed in the southern part of Central Lombok district, precisely at the community Pujut, a district that covers an area of Central Lombok district. 

Seger Beach, Kec. Pujut, Central Lombok

Among the several places where people cathcing Nyale, Seger Beach is most well known places and flooded by many visitor especially those who are non Sasak (Iqa-Iku) tribe. Seger is located in the eastern part of Kuta bay, a very beautiful bay and an interesting side for recreation. The beautiful view of this beach is an unvaluable miracle for them. As tourist destionation in Central Lombok, Seger Beach not only highly potential for its costal beauty but it also complemented by the traditional ritual festival  like Bau Nyale Festival.

Bau Nyale derived from those people based on the ancient mythology regarding Princess Mandalika. The mythology become the underlying phylosphy of sasak people.According to belief of Sasak People in Central Lombok This Festival is celebrated in the hope to neutralize the two opposing power of Princess Mandalika. In one side this character is believed to bring benevolence, prosperity, safety, fertility, plenty of crop and social compassion. On the other hand , especially when character is mad , she can be detrimenal to the need of local people. These two opposing power could be neutralized and become harmonya with the ritual celebration of Bau Nyale as people believe that nyale is the reincarnation of Princess Mandalika. Bau Nyale lies in the middle between the two oppposing power, therefore, it symbolyze balance and harmony.

Nyale Worm

She is the daughter of a king who ever reigned in the land of Lombok. Her fascinating beauty deeply attrack every viewer. Even many princes who have seen her fall in love with her. This myth is a folk tradition and transmitted orally from generation to generation. Socio-culturally , this myth is perceived not as a mere fiction, but rather as philosophical reality that deeply occupies the sub - conscious of the people and plays as a special role in the socio cultural practice.There are two version of Putri Mandalika myth.

First Version , Putri Mandalika is a daughter of King Raja Tonjeng Beru and the Queen Dewi Seruntung, who Rule the Sekar Kuning Kingdom in Eberu. Her beauty, charm, ability an talent in various profession widely known and fascinated many princes from different kingdom. Too many wedding proposals for Putri Mandalika prompt , the king fully authorized his daughter to select the best choice. The princess faced extreme dilemma. It took long enough time until the princess chose the best for her. Prompted by mysterious guidence , she decided to plunge herself into the sea. This is down with intention to give a fair treatment to all of them who wants her. She really wanted to cut her life despite her wish to live for several more decades to enjoy life that she never experiences. In time, she visited belangon , southern costal area in Terasak, Bumbang, where she wanted to announce her choice. She said that she cant choose a single prince out of many princes for her. She chose to reincarnated as nyale to make all people can enjoy herself. Suddenly, heavy raining, tide up and roaring thunderbolt simultaneously complement the people grieves to rescue the princess. On the stone there is still a form of woman sexual organ that is thought to derive from the body of the princess before plugging hersel down to the sea.

Second Version, the myth narrates about the princes who wants to make love with Putri Mandalika are requested to plunge themselves on the 20th of ten month. In the next year , on the said date , a  massive number of Eberu people go to the sea to prove the princess promise. All they discovered is only a short of a nyale worm back and forth on the air, which is thought as the reincarnation of the princess.The people began to catch the nyale as much as they can. That is the origin of catching nyale that eventually develop as a tradition inherited from generation to generation until now. Lately this tradition is concected to a happy season going to the beach after plating rice or working on the rice field and farm, for teenagers' meeting and taking nyale as delicious food. This second version is the most popular tale until present time well known by the local people.

Catching Nyale has distinctive meaning. In a thankful celebration, after conclusion of catching nyale , all family members go to graveyard with food. The prupose is to visit the spirit of dead relatives and to conduct a ceremonial rendezvous of eating together. Before the ceremony of collective eating , they burn incense and sprinkle a pitcher of water three times over a given burial places from the head to the feet. 

This short story is still remind in my mind. I really interest to the traditional culture in any place in Indonesia, but Lombok is the most interesting for me. I write it to you based on the knowledge I know from visiting Lombok Island.  Hopefully we are conscious and loving Indonesian traditional culture and always intend to continue to pass them on to our descendants in a way that we can afford. And I try to do it by telling to all readers about The Indonesian Culture that I know.