We went with our friends Howie and Haviva, who have since tragically moved back to the US (we miss you, Havowie!). It must have been just 2 or 3 days before the holiday because the place was hopping.
Haviva's bag of luckand all sorts of holiday treats were on sale, including golden coins (chocolate, I assume) and the impenetrable kue keranjang.
Chinese New Year is so widely celebrated here, not only in Glodok but in malls, advertisements and public events throughout the country, it's hard to grasp that it was all illegal just a decade ago. Under Suharto, Indonesians of Chinese descent couldn't publicly celebrate their holidays or use the Chinese language. They were required to carry special i.d. and were systematically eliminated from the higher levels of government and military.
Today, the discriminatory laws have largely been revoked (although there are reports of crooked officials still applying the old citizenship restrictions or extorting people for extra money to get around them). Jakarta is certainly more joyful, colorful and delicious as a result.