Lunar New Year Specials with Janet Prasetio and Family
When Janet Prasetio was growing up back in the days, the tradition that she loved the most in celebrating the festive holiday was her opportunity to meet the extensive family.
Every family has its own personalized tradition in celebrating the Lunar New Year. For Janet and her family, she enjoys celebrating it with the extended family members where they gather with their loved ones whilst exchanging angpaos (a monetary gift enclosed in a red envelope given during holidays), fun chit-chat to catch up with things happening in their lives, red wines, and rounds and rounds of the extensively exciting card games.
She vividly remembered her routine every year during the holiday. The excitement of waking up and getting ready with new clothes and meeting her cousins to play and hunt for angpaos all day. She ended the evening sitting with her sister calculating how much they've got on that day.
The tradition that she had since her childhood continues being passed to Janet’s small family consisting of herself, her husband, Kwang, and her 3-year-old son, Reign. They have their own routine in celebrating the new year by dressing up for the occasion with something new and they would always try to color-coordinate at times.
Janet and her small family also enjoy the house-visit to both of her and her husband's parents, as well as sleeping and resting together during the holiday. For them, the Lunar New Year is all about paying respects to their ancestors and praying for blessings upon a prosperous new year.
Every celebration has its own traditional food that is passed on or consumed for many generations within the family. Especially for Janet’s---and she delightfully quotes "one bowl is never enough!"---the one dish she loves and is always served during Lunar New Year is the delicious lontong sayur. The traditional versatile dish is a savory mixture of hard-boiled rice wrapped in banana leaves, known as lontong, served with a side of vegetable curry with coconut milk.
Janet recalls the sweetest and most memorable Lunar New Year celebration was pre-pandemic back in 2020 where she and her family held 3 big parties that she personally loved, and everyone was in attendance. It was also a particular new year where Janet can give angpaos to the kids and the elderly, and it was also special because her son, Reign can receive the angpaos as well as blessings from the other family members.
She concluded the interview with her personal meaning of Lunar New Year. And to her, it is something to look forward to every year, to celebrate a brand-new beginning, and it is such a precious time to spend with the family.
Photograped by Hakim Satriyo
Location at Savyavasa Residence