Cap Go Meh Festival-The Supernatural Tatung Parade in Singkawang

Indonesia

Supadio Airport

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Indonesia: Cap Go Meh Festival-The Supernatural Tatung Pa...

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“Hi, I am Tracy! I am a full-time Travel Blogger, Planner & Organizer. I am Indonesian and I stayed in Singapore for about 11 years before I moved back for good in 2016. I love nature - I hike and I dive. I support coral conservation. When I am not doing either one, I write and I plan. And yes, also meeting friends for a cuppa tea or coffee, too! :) Hope to see you around one day!”

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Highlights

Singkawang, a small city located in West Kalimantan, is home to thousands of Dayaknese and Chinese descents. Located about 145 km north of the capital city Pontianak, Singkawang or San Khew Jong in Hakka means a town in hills nearby where the sea and the river meets. The majority of its citizens are of Chinese descents, and the culture and tradition here is a mix of Chinese and Dayaknese culture.

Cap Go Meh Festival-The Supernatural Tatung Parade in Singkawang starting at Indonesia

HISTORY

The term Tatung derives from Hakka language, referring to a person who is believed to be possessed by gods or supernatural spirits called Lauya. As a result, people believed that all Tatungs have a special ability or power. Sometimes people come to them to ask about their future, fortune, love life, or career.

Being a Tatung is not a choice because it runs in their blood or hereditary. Although, in some cases, a person can be a Tatung if possessed by the Lauya. Once a year, all Tatungs in Singkawang will join a parade on Cap Go Meh day, at the end of the Chinese New Year's festivity. The festive parade is usually held two weeks (15 days) after the Chinese New Year or locally known as Imlek.

Locals believed that the Tatung parade tradition has lasted for more than 250 years. It started when Chinese people came all the way to Borneo/Kalimantan island to mine gold. They started to open an area in a very dense jungle, so they can build a village and mine gold. They also intermarried with the local Dayaknese people. However, a fever came and spread, and they believed it was caused by evil spirits. Therefore, they started to invite good spirits to help them combat the evil spirits by doing rituals and prayers. The fever was gone and they continue to do the rituals until now.

Cap Go Meh Festival-The Supernatural Tatung Parade in Singkawang starting at IndonesiaCap Go Meh Festival-The Supernatural Tatung Parade in Singkawang starting at IndonesiaCap Go Meh Festival-The Supernatural Tatung Parade in Singkawang starting at Indonesia

Tatung Parade

Cap Go Meh in Singkawang marked with the magic attraction of Dayak-Chinese. One of the Chinese rituals that has been assimilated with local culture is called Tatung. The ritual involves subjecting one's body to pain and torture, hence, it is not suitable for the squeamish and little children to watch.

Lantern Parade

Culinary

Itinerary

DAY 1 (06/02/2020): Arrival at Pontianak – Singkawang (L,D)
Arrival at Pontianak’s Supadio Airport the latest 10 am and then drive to Singkawang using private car (3,5 hours). Upon arrival at Singkawang, we visit Vihara and the see sunset at Kura-kura Beach.

DAY 2 (07/02/2020): Singkawang (B,L,D)
A ritual before Cap Go Meh Festival, we visit Vihara in Singkawang to see the ritual procession. And at night we see a lantern parade in Singkawang.

DAY 3 (08/02/2020): Singkawang – Pontianak (B,L,D)
See Tatung parade Cap Go Meh Festival until 12AM. Check out Hotel and then we go to Pontianak and city tour at Pontianak City.

DAY 4 (09/02/2020): Pontianak (B)
Check out hotel and drop to Pontianak airport.

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