Tatung March, 3 Culture of Singkawang City

Helloindonesia.id – Witnessing the attraction of this one is a bit of a sensation of tension. This is a parade of the Dayak-Chinese magicians’ attraction to celebrate Cap Go Meh, a celebration held after the Chinese New Year. The attraction, named Tatung Parade, follows Chinese traditions mixed with Dayak culture that can only be seen in Singkawang, West Kalimantan.

The Cap Go Meh celebration is celebrated almost all over the world. However, Cap Go Meh in Singkawang has a slightly different celebration from celebrations in other regions. In addition to having traditional cultural characteristics, the various performances presented at the Cap Go Meh celebration in Singkawang absorb and assimilate with local culture. Like the tatung show, for example, which is one form of cultural assimilation in Singkawang. Tatung in Hakka means people who are possessed by spirits, gods, ancestors, or supernatural powers. Tatung parade in Singkawang is the largest in the world.

Tatung March
Tatung March

Before the Go Go Meh took place, one by one Singkawang Chinese residents took turns to pray at the temple. This was done exactly 13-15 days after the Chinese New Year 2566. These Chinese people prayed without meaning, because that day was called a white tiger, while hoping that nothing would happen. At the time of late afternoon, many temperatures or priests who come out and pray at the monastery with the aim of asking permission from the gods, so that tatung rituals run smoothly and avoid bad things when the festival takes place.

Tatung Summoning Ceremony is led by a priest. This summoning is done by bringing the spirits of the dead to possess tatung. “The summoned spirits are believed to be good spirits, able to ward off evil spirits who want to disturb the harmony of people’s lives. Good spirits consist of the spirits of heroes in Chinese legends, such as warlords, judges, writers, princes, converted prostitutes and other saints, “Husada said, Deputy Chairman of the Tri Dharma Bumi Raya Singkawang Temple.

According to Husada, these summoned spirits can possess anyone, depending on whether the cast of tatung meets the requirements in the stages determined by the priest. Tatung are required to fast for three days before the day of the celebration, with the intention that they are in a state of holiness before the celebration. Tatung is believed to have supernatural powers, capable of treatment and expulsion of evil elements (reject reinforcements).

After the lantern marches, lion dance and dragon marches were held, the Cap Go Meh celebration was held in Singkawang for the next two days. At the Cap Go Meh celebration there was also dominance of the Tatung procession from the monastery. Tatung procession in the Cap Go Meh celebration in Singkawang was held after receiving blessings and blessings from the Temple or temple.

Tatung March
Tatung March

Tatung parade ceremony starts from the temple altar. The temperature (priests) made offerings to Dewa To Pe Kong. After asking to be blessed for salvation, they then summoned spirits, the bodies of these Tatung were possessed by spirits so that they would become invulnerable to be paraded around the city, dressed in clothing representing Chinese or Dayak groups.

Accompanied by drums, the parade participants wore glittering costumes of the greatness of the Dayak tribe and the country of China in the past. Tatung attractions are filled with mystical and tense things. For example, there are tatung that stand upright on a stretcher set foot on a blade or blade. There is also a sharp steel wire stuck into the right cheek to penetrate the left cheek.

These tatung perform attractions to show their immunity, occasionally they have to drink wine, or even suck the blood of chickens that are specifically prepared as a ritual. Broken glass was stepped on, or even the legs of the Tatung stepped on the sharp part of a sword. The Tatung are paraded by foot, but some others stand on the throne carried by four people, like a magnate from the Chinese country.

Interestingly, the Tatung were not scratched or injured in the slightest. While showing off immunity with sharp objects, Tatung paraded around the city of Singkawang. The route covered includes, Kridasana Field towards Jalan Pelita, then leads to Jalan Yohana Godan and Jalan GM Situt. The journey then continues to the Fish Market Bridge, leads to Jalan Saad and leads to Jalan Setia Budi and to Jalan 1001 Drugstore and to Jalan Budi Utomo and past the Rusen Bridge. From the Rusen Bridge, the journey leads to the Tri Dharma Bumi Raya Vihara and to Jalan Sejahtera. After that, the march was directed towards Jalan Kepol Mahmud and ended at the Altar Auction Front. Finally, they gathered to pray together with Thian (God) at the altar at the center of the Cap Go Meh celebration in Singkawang.

Cultural Assimilation

The existence of tatung in large numbers is a cultural phenomenon typical of Singkawang City during the Cap Go Meh Singkawang celebration. As a cultural feast, the Tatung parade has a religious side that is quite thick and reflects the mixing of ancient Taoist beliefs with local animism that only exists in Singkawang City.

Tatung March
Tatung March

The Singkawang area itself has indigenous people, namely the Dayak tribe, Malay who mingle with the Chinese who have lived there for a long time. His invention is not religious or known as animism. The Singkawang area was originally part of the Sambas region which covered Singkawang City, Sambas Regency, and Bengkayang Regency. Sambas means sam (three) bas (ethnic), which means that the population consists of ethnic Sambas Malays, who are Muslims, fusion of various ethnic or ethnic groups, namely Malay, a mixture of Chinese-Dayak Muslims, Bugis, Javanese Muslims who identify themselves as ethnic Malays .

The two ethnic Tinghoa, who are Samkaw (Taoist, Buddhist and Confucius), Catholic, Protestant are overseas Chinese descendants, mixed Chinese Dayaks who identify themselves in the ethnic Chinese of Indonesia. Third, ethnic Dayaks, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and a small portion of animism, identify themselves with the Dayak tribe (native of Borneo).

The Cap Go Meh festival in Singkawang is a celebration that originated in China, which for more than 250 years was brought and celebrated in Sambas by the Chinese people of Singkawang. Then this celebration adapts and assimilates to the culture, traditions and traditional rituals of local animism. The Cap Go Meh Festival is the biggest public party in the world with the phenomenon of local wisdom which is a special attraction for tourism in the country.

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