Tatung Tradition of Singkawang City, West Kalimantan Province


In Singkawang City, tourists may find a signature tradition called Cap Go Meh. This festive event even consists of many attractions including Tatung! This one is only available in Singkawang, so tourists should not miss to watch it while visiting the region later. In a nutshell, Tatung is a performance done by the locals, offering both entertaining and mystical nuance. In terms of name, it derives from the Hakka Language which means the people who are possessed by spirits (either a God or ancestors). Due to the uniqueness, even foreigners are also interested in it!

The Nuance
As mentioned before, the nuance is quite mystical and entertaining. It is because the participants perform some extreme attractions and try to hurt themselves with some weapons. These people wear colorful traditional attire either from the Dayak or Chinese Tribe. As for the number, there are hundreds of them! For the information, they may perform the attraction in an open field during Cap Gomeh Festival. Also, the audience may watch them up close by the road. This explains why some people can’t withstand the performance because they are afraid of such dangerous acts!

Exploring Tatung Tradition
At the beginning of the ceremony, the participants and the committee gather in the altar of a vihara. At the time, the preachers give offerings to God To Pe Kong in order to bless the participants and give the power to perform well later. Not many people believe that this ritual is able to give the immunity to those people, though. Despite the fact, the participants’ body won’t get affected by swords or other sharp weapons during the attraction! What a thrilling performance!

As mentioned before, the preachers may lead the ceremony and they try to call the ancestor spirits and give immunity to the participants. Despite the sacredness, the audience is allowed to use a camera and take some pictures of it. As long as they do not disturb the ritual, they can conduct photography freely. The unique fact is those spirits may possess randomly! That means not all participants get the immunity. As for the audience, they won’t get affected by the ritual at all. That’s the brilliance of the event!

According to the locals, Tatung Tradition has many benefits to the locals. One of them is to get rid of bad lucks in the future. This is why many villagers consider it as a method to purify themselves and the city. Not to mention it also becomes the part of the big event called Cap Go Meh. No wonder, the nuance is quite merry and it attracts both nearby residents and outsiders! Even foreigners are also seen during the ceremony.

Nearby Attractions

  • Sinka Zoo
  • Taman Cinta Waterboom
  • Setapuk Besar Mangroves
  • Sedau Beach
  • Pajintan Reservoir
  • Bukit Bougenville Park
  • Eria Public Bath

How to Get There
It is common sense. Tourists need to get to Singkawang City in order to watch Tatung Performance directly. If they come from Pontianak City, the trip takes approximately 3 hours and 4 minutes. It is because the distance is 151 km. Have no worries. The trip becomes faster if they take Ahmad Yani Street. It is also better come during Cap Go Meh Festival!

Where to Stay

  • Venetion Hotel
  • Jaya Wijaya Hotel
  • Restu Hotel
  • Simpang Hotel
  • Prapatan Hotel
  • Kalbar Hotel


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