Palembang This year, Kemaro Island, Palembang City will not organize Cap Go Meh celebrations, which mark the close of the Chinese New Year festivities, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
This is the first time since 2006 that the Cap Go Meh celebrations, which usually attracts thousands of visitors, will not be held on Kemaro Island.
Chinese New Year events will not be organized this year because the COVID-19 pandemic has made large gatherings of people unadvisable, Palembang Mayor Harnojoyo said on Tuesday.
“However, we hope that the meaning of the Chinese New Year celebration will still be felt and (remain) meaningful,” he remarked.
The Cap Go Meh celebrations on Kemaro Island usually include a variety of activities, including prayers, offerings to the legend of Kemaro Island, Siti Fatimah, and release of lanterns. The celebrations draw thousands of people to the island located in the middle of the Musi River.
The government is not allowing activities that involve many people congregating in one place this year because COVID-19 cases are still increasing every day, Harnojoyo explained.
Head of the Palembang City Tourism Office, Isnaini Madani, said the cancellation of the Cap Go Meh celebrations on Kemaro Island will have an impact on tourism businesses.
“The positive impact of Cap Go Meh on Kemaro Island is very much; hotels and restaurants are usually flooded with orders, and most importantly Palembang branding also increases,” he elaborated.
Even though the Cap Go Meh event has been canceled, the local government will still allow travelers to visit Kemaro Island on the condition that they follow the health protocols, he added.
Source: Antara News