Saturday, February 11, 2017

at Surya Kancana Street, Bogor

Cap Go Meh literally means the 15th evening (after the Chinese New Year), celebrated by Chinese people all over the world with various kinds of festivities. In Bogor, West Java, it's celebrated in a form of a people parade by all communities from neighboring cities and regions, religions and ethnics, not only by the Chinese communities.
I took off from Jakarta in a rainy morning with a hope to catch this annual festival from the beginning (temple ritual for the gods and goddesses) towards the actual parade. We arrived before noon and Bogor was packed, rainy and busy already. My daughter and I tried to get inside Vihara Dhanagun (also called Hok Tek Bio temple) where the main activity took place every year and it was almost impossible to get in. The smell of incense was all over the place. Organizers, photographers, and spectators were packing the temple's hall and yard. Hardly any place to stand and sketch.
Traffic jam and people from all over Bogor city poured into Surya Kancana Street to see the parade.

Inside the Dhanagun Vihara as the center of the Cap Go Meh celebration was packed.
The celebration inside the temple (Photo credit: Iqbal Amirdha)

I had intended to meet my fellow sketchers from Bogor, Iqbal Amirdha, Kiki Priyosejati and Ersta Andantino who already settled inside the temple for good sketching spot but it was too packed and hectic to make it  to their spots that I decided to sketch somewhere safe and less chaotic.

While waiting for the activity to start, I sketched the commotion from the front gate of the vihara. People stood by to wait in the rain. Some carried umbrellas or raincoat, the others just didn't care even if they got drenched.

Inside the hall where the statues of gods and goddesses were stored, people were busy decorating and waving flags. Some visitors came to pay respect to the gods and goddesses here.

The Drummers (right side) by Kiki Priyosejati. The drums inside the hall can be heard all the way to the streets and usually symbolize what kind of activity or ritual that was going on.

Inside the vihara sketch by Iqbal Amirdha captured the sense of excitement.

As the religious activity took place, parade participants were already standing by at the hall and by Padjajaran street. Waiting for their turn to walk.

Kiki Priyosejati's quick sketch of the gate from the Surya Kancana street.

Bogor city Sketchers: Ersta Andantino, Iqbal Amirdha and Kiki Priyosejati. Reporting live, from Cap Go Meh festival.

By afternoon time, it seemed the parade is delayed until evening time. So I decided to head home before getting trapped inside the heavy traffic jam in Bogor city that day. After apologizing to my Bogor Sketchers friends via Whatsapp Application, we walked back to where we parked and safely drove back to Jakarta.
May next year I can come back again and sketched a bit more. Special thanks to my Bogor Sketchers friends who stood by waiting for me although we didn't meet in person. I just admire their spirit to capture the scene through their sketches! 

The rain was still pouring as we exited Bogor through the highway. 

For more information about Hok Tek Bio?Dhanagun temple, please check out this
Here's a nice article about Cap Go Meh:
Also view: Facebook page of Bogor Sketchers, Indonesia's Sketchers for more sketches of Cap Go Meh celebration in Indonesia.

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