Semarang Chinatown Is Ready To Welcome The Chinese New Year, A Combination Of Religious, Cultural, And Culinary Tourism

Four days before the 2575 Kongzili Chinese New Year celebrations, Semarang's Chinatown area is starting to get festive. At least 500 lanterns brighten this Year of the Wood Dragon.

It appears that the entrance to Chinatown has also been beautified. A row of lanterns is seen when entering Gang Warung to Gang Baru.

"The lanterns have started to be installed. There are 500 of them there whether they are magnificent or not, the important thing is that they are festive. The lights are part of welcoming Chinese New Year," said the Chairman of the Semawis Semarang Chinatown (Coffee) Community, Harjanto K Halim, Tuesday (6/ 2).

Religious Tourism

The Semarang Chinatown area is located in Kauman, Semarang Tengah District, Semarang City, Jawa Tengah. The location of Semarang Chinatown is not far from the Semarang Old Town. The Semarang Chinatown area is one of Indonesia's heritage which plays a role in Semarang's identity.

The Chinese New Year atmosphere becomes even more visible when the corners of the walls are beautified with murals with the theme of life in the Chinatown area.

The people going back and forth in Kranggan Village, Semarang Tengah District is also a sign of welcoming the Chinese New Year which is getting closer. Buying and selling activities at Gang Warung Market also seemed busier than before.

Chinese New Year Trinkets

Traders began to offer typical Chinese New Year knick-knacks. Starting from incense, candles, red envelopes, and wall decorations, to typical Chinese New Year trees and flowers. Including basket cakes which are part of what Chinese people hunt for.

This year's Chinese New Year celebration will be as festive as possible. This was proven by a competition for the cleanliness and tidiness of the environment and houses specifically for Semarang Chinatown residents.

Residents' participation seemed enthusiastic in welcoming Chinese New Year by transforming slum areas into more orderly ones. Removing the impression of slums in people's heads when walking along the corner of the alley in the Chinese village area.

Harjanto said that residents' awareness was starting to be raised about the importance of cleanliness and tidiness through competitions to decorate their homes.

Photo Spots

"We also saw that there were dirty walls in slum areas, if they were repaired and then used again there would be no benefit. So cleaning them and then painting them made them more beautiful and less dirty, they could become photo spots," he said.

Including the white monument at the intersection of Jalan Gambiran and Gang Pinggir, decorated to match this year's zodiac. The Gambian Monument, as the local people call it, is decorated with giant pink dragon-coiled ornaments. "Later at the Gambiran Monument there will also be dragon lanterns circling the monument and pink lanterns," he said.

He hopes that anxiety about the cleanliness and tidiness of Chinatown is the key that must be responded to by all parties. Including the Semarang City Government (Pemkot) which plans to revitalize the Chinatown area.