The First Day of the New Year

As we begin on this first day of the new year, rain is pouring down in Raffles Hills in the Southeast part of Jakarta where I live.

I’m now sitting in our family room enjoying the rain and newness of the year and  have a lot to be thankful for 2013 and a lot to be hopeful for 2014…….

First day of 2014

As in previous years, millions around the world welcomed 2014 on New Year’s Eve with fireworks, dancing and late-night reverie, gathering for huge displays of jubilation and unity as the new year arrived across 24 time zones.

In the city where I live, the governor rolled out again the Jakarta Night Festival to celebrate the New Year’s Eve at the iconic Hotel Indonesia Circle, popularly known as “Bundaran HI” and along the Thamrin and Sudirman Boulevard on a car-free night .

Same as last year, Jakarta Night Festival was “a party for all” filled with music galore, parades, performances, fireworks, laser shows, dancing fountains, and zeppelin balloons, creating fun on the first day of the New Year.

While the majority of Jakarta residents were out there enjoying the Jakarta Night Festival, we were celebrating the New Year’s Eve quietly at home with home made Sangria and old time cookies.

Home made Sangria?

Our home made Sangria is a mix of red wine, soda water, apple juice and slices of apple as you can see in the following picture

Homemade Sangria 2

To accompany the Sangria, we chose old time cookies which we’ve known since childhood: Speculaas and Kattentongen. These cookies are not original Indonesian cookies but we adopted them from the Dutch.



Speculaas is a type of spiced shortcrust biscuit , traditionally baked for consumption on or just before St Nicholas feast in the Netherlands on December 5.  Speculaas are thin, very crunchy, slightly browned and most significantly have some image or figure (often from the traditional stories ab.out St. Nicholas) stamped on the front side before baking while the back is flat.

classic speculaas To make the dough, butter, sugar and spices are combined. The flour and leavening agent are mixed separately and then added. Bakers carefully ensure the dough doesn’t heat up too quickly. The dough is stored in a cool place overnight to give the spices time to permeate the dough and add extra flavor.

Kattentongen or Lidah Kucing

Cat tongue

Kattentongen is a type of soft cookie known in my country as Lidah kucing which literally means Cat Tongue in English or Kattentongen in Dutch or Langue de Chat in France.

Kattentongen was brought by the Dutch during the colonial era in Indonesia. It made from eggs’ white almost like a meringue but not that soft. It has a cookie sensation but not as crunchy as a cookie.

Well, that’s all we have to welcome the New Year but we really enjoyed this simple celebration. 

I guess celebrating a happy New Year is not about the greatness of the party but it’s more about the gratefulness of our heart……..



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