Deli Serdang (ANTARA) - The Maha Vihara Maitreya Monastery in North Sumatra's Deli Serdang district, one of Indonesia's largest Buddhist houses of worship, is planning to put up 1,500 lanterns to welcome the 2024 Lunar New Year.

"These lanterns will beautify the monastery for one month," manager of the monastery, Dicky, informed on Wednesday.

According to the plan, he said, the lanterns will glow every night in the courtyard and at several spots in the monastery, which was inaugurated on August 21, 2008.

Dicky added that the monastery is expected to accommodate around one thousand worshippers daily during this year's Lunar New Year, which will start on February 10, 2024, marking the dawn of 2575 Kongzili (Chinese year).

The monastery will be closed to visitors and tourists from February 9–13, he informed.

"The series of the Lunar New Year celebration will conclude with the Cap Go Meh (the culmination of the annual celebration) on February 24, 2024. In addition to February 9–13, the monastery will also be used solely for ritual purposes every Saturday and Sunday," he added.

The manager said that security officers, including police personnel, will guard the monastery during the celebration period.

He informed that this year, the Maha Vihara Maitreya Monastery will raise the theme of "World Peace" for the Lunar New Year, the same as last year.

According to him, the management of the monastery chose the theme because the world is still plagued by wars that are affecting many countries, including Indonesia.

"We have been witnessing the war between Russia and Ukraine. Instead of ending, the war seems to be spreading," he said.

For Chinese communities, the year 2575 is symbolized by the Wood Dragon, which itself is a symbol of energy, luck, success, and hope for change in the world.

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Translator: Michael S, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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