Chinese flock to Palembang, Semarang temples for Imlek

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Thousands of Chinese Indonesians flocked to Goddess Khuang In temple in Palembang, South Sumatra Province, and Semarang, Central Java Province, to celebrate Lunar New Year locally known as Imlek, Thursday morning.

Heavy rains falling early in the morning did not stop Chinese worshipers to go to the temple to pray for their ancestors, Deputy Chairman of the Goddess Khuang In Temple Chandra Husin said in Palembang, Thursday.

They believed that rains during Imlek would bring good lucks, he said.

In Semarang, Chinese locals celebrated the 2566th New Year by praying in temples, particularly in Tay Kak Sie Temple.

Tay Kak Sie Temple, one of the oldest temples in the city, was built in 1746, Gunawan, spokesman of the temple, said.

Imlek is the most important traditional festival, and most important celebration for families in China.

Imlek incorporates customs, beliefs and practices brought to Indonesia by Chinese immigrants who still follow the practices handed down from their parents.

Beginning 2002, Chinese New Year becomes a national day on the Indonesian calendar, so government offices, schools, universities and many companies are closed during the celebration, which falls on February 19 this year.(*)

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