IN PHOTOS: A look at one of Jakarta's oldest buddhist temples
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Vihara Bahtera Bhakti is one of the oldest buddhist temples in Jakarta.
Located in Ancol, many come here to celebrate the Chinese New Year with their family and friends.
“People come from all over Indonesia to this temple,” Aprianto Bismoko, who runs the temple, told Rappler. “Not just from Ancol, but from Jakarta, Bogor, and even Medan, Surabaya, Kalimantan.”
“There are many prayers on Chinese New Year, at many times.”
The temple is thought to be built in 1650, dedicated to Da Bo Gong, a deity of land and wealth, and his wife. However, Bismoko says the temple was built in 1425, and is preparing to celebrate a 600-year anniversary in 2026.
For New Year, many people donate candles to be lit, with the belief that the ‘light’ represents the brightness of their future. Those that can afford it buy large candles as they will stay lit longer, therefore equating to a brighter future.
The candles are lit on the eve of the new year, with the cost of a pair of candles reaching as much as Rp 4 million.
2016 is the Year of the Monkey, believed to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar.
Here are photos of Vihara Bahtera Bhakti before the crowds descended for the annual celebrations. All photos taken by the authors: