Few weeks ago was Chinese New Year, so congratulations to everyone celebrating it. Gong xi, gong xi.. 😀
In Yogyakarta, the euphoria was also strong in Chinese New Year, especially for the Lantern Festival or usually called Cap Go Meh. This festival or day marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations after 15 days straight since the day. I don’t know how the calendar system works, but I only know that far, so if I’m mistaken, please don’t hesitate to correct me. For Lantern Festival, Yogyakarta’s ‘local Chinatown’ which is located in Ketandan always celebrates it by making the area open for public and have a lot to offer.
That was, honestly, my first time in visiting local Lantern Festival since years before I was kinda lazy due to the stories that the place would be jammed and packed. (It was, indeed). But, this year’s different. I made my decision to visit this local Chinatown to enjoy the ambience.
Sorry, blurry, can’t really steady my hand to take a photo while walking.
BTW, this is the main stage for the festival
Upon entering, which was indeed pretty packed, I found it so amazing to be there and felt the unique atmosphere I’ve never experienced before. Even though I’ve been there (in Ketandan) before, but I felt like in totally different area due to the food and snack stalls, tons of lanterns, and the main attractions themselves.
I’m aiming to get a clear shot of the liong‘s head, but yeah, that’s pretty hard since the performers are moving pretty fast
The festival actually took place on an alley in Ketandan. My parking area is right at the middle of that alley since I came from the backstreet route. Actually my friends were guiding me through the route :D. So we decided to take left that lead us to the Malioboro which is closed for vehicles during the festival (night only). At that time, the liong (I hope I didn’t mispronounce) were on stage.
You can find bunch of choices of snacks or meal here including pork. Though I have many stuffs available, I can only pick some due to some (wallet) internal problem. So I picked a bakchang which is steamed sticky rice with meat filling. The vendor I came to, have 2 kinds of bakchang, with chicken and pork. Definitely I chose pork. My friend’s friend said that usually backhang was prepared with pork+telur asin (salty egg, usually duck egg) but I think that day wasn’t my lucky day since I found none.
The taste was savoury overall. I don’t think that the sticky rice was marinated with some kind of spices since it’s quite bland. The brownish color might be from the wrapper (leaves, I forget what leaves :|). The sticky rice was seriously sticky, though. I’ve eaten bakchang once couple years ago and the taste was totally different. The pork I had inside the snack I bought during that festival was block of pork. It wasn’t sliced but more like chopped like dices. It’s mostly savory with subtle taste of saltiness as well. Probably it wasn’t marinated but just purely stir fried. The ratio is a bit imbalance as well since the protein was pretty minimalist in amount.
After having some snack, of course I moved on to a meal. My friend’s friend which I stated earlier was opening a vendor right in front of his house. I also had my meal at his food stall and I got steamed rice. Actually it’s pretty good, I may admit. I’m not a fan in pouring soup over rice, so I kept it separated. Soup is beautiful and clear, taste slightly salty but mostly garlic-y. This steamed rice wasn’t covered in pork, but chicken instead. The rice is steamed for quite some time hence making it brown in color.
I’m not a food expert but my guess is, the rice was marinated with savory broth like mixture of garlic, green onion, shoyu, probably a little bit of soy sauce, along with the chicken and mushroom as the toppings. After it’s fully steamed, the steamed rice was topped again with sliced scallion and crispy shallots for extra crunch. The marinating broth didn’t totally reach the center of the rice but it was pretty deep, so I think the steaming process worked really well.
Aside from the food, I also enjoyed a few of the atractions like liong and this Chinese puppet show. I didn’t understand a single thing since the puppet master was telling story in Chinese, haha. Any food hunters would be really happy to walk around this alley and pleasing themselves with varieties of meals, snacks, and beverages.
(sorry, blurry picture again.. :p, I wonder what’s wrong)
In the end, being here on the Chinese festival for the first time truly amazed me since I experienced something new. The euphoria and atmosphere were pretty mesmerizing especially with some Chinese songs being played all over the place :thumbsup:
Gotta end my story here, it’s been a long post, and I’m looking for more new experience like this. So, if you have any ideas or comments, fill me in at the comment section, leave like if you enjoy reading my stories, and stay tuned for my next trips.
CHEERS AND HAVE A GREAT DAY!!
I also do some artworks (in self-practice as well, actually), if you’d like to visit, you are very welcomed to my Artstation and Patreon profile.
and also selling some original merchandise at Redbubble
*Sorry, get to promote everything, but, yeah, my effort on living my dream may be starting from the very bottom*
Thank you. :D*