24 February 2013, Hok Tek Bio Temple (Pasar Wage, Purwokerto)
It’s the year of water snake in Chinese horoscopes and the 15th day after new year is Cap Go Meh. This year I went to Hok Tek Bio temple with my friends to witness the dragon which would broke Indonesia national record (MURI) for the longest dragon category. A little bit dissapointed that the dragon was made of hay (rice straw), I kept observing the hay dragon. There were so many incense sticks plugged into the whole body of the dragon. They said it would be burned. Oh, that’s awesome! But unfortunately I couldn’t follow the procession till the end to take the picture. And moreover, they would have Lontong Cap Go Meh (the traditional meal for Cap Go Meh) together after the procession..
We also watched the lion dance inside the temple. People usually give Hóngbāo (红包) or the red envelope filled with money to the lion. It will approach you flirtatiously and “bite” the hóngbāo. So cute! I forgot about that, so I didn’t bring any. The good thing when you brought hóngbāo for the lion is you could ask your friend to capture that moment on camera. There were also Toapekong (gods on the palanquins) which would be paraded around with the hay dragon. Uniquely, I saw the guys who carried the Toapekong moved like they were dancing, made the Toapekong wiggling. My friend, Juna, said that the more they moved, the more they would be blessed. Well, I’m Chinese, Juna is Javanese, but that was my first time watching Cap Go Meh procession and learning new things. Hahaha… I love both the diversity and the unity we have here!