The Jakarta Post
The front of Kasepuhan Palace in Cirebon, West Java. (kasepuhan.com/File)
Kasepuhan Palace in Cirebon, West Java, have begun celebrating maulid (birthday of the Prophet Muhammad) through the siraman panjang (long wash) traditional ceremony, in which they took out and washed nine relic plates owned by Cirebon founder and Islam propagator Sunan Gunungjati, who was one of the Wali Songo (Nine Holy Preachers).
“The peak of this year’s maulid of the Prophet Muhammad is on Dec. 12. On that night, the plates will be used to bring the rice and side dishes of the preachers,” said the palace's Sultan XIV PRA Arief Natadiningrat on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
The Sultan further explained that this annual 700-year-old dish washing procession was performed by Islamic teaching propagators when conducting community discussions in Cirebon.
The washing of such plates utilizes the water from the well that was used in the past by Sunan Gunungjati on a daily basis.
The Sultan said the ceremony was held every 5th maulid. The plates that were wrapped in white cloth and stored in a warehouse of relics were taken into a water-filled wooden tub, in which kraton (royal) families and relatives sat encircling it. One by one the plates were washed and followed with a prayer. (mra/kes)