Yogyakarta gears up for
Islamic New Year ’s Eve

Yogyakarta officials and residents are gearing up for various ceremonies and rituals to greet the 1434th Islamic New Year’s Eve, locally known as Satu Suro, on Wednesday night.

The secretary of the Parangtritis' search and rescue (SAR) team, Taufik M. Faqi, said Monday that all 80 crews, in cooperation with the Bantul Police and the Water and Air Police (Polairud), would guard Yogyakarta's beaches, such as Parangtritis in Depok district and Samas in Sanden district, for 24 hours in anticipation of the thousands of visitors expected to attend Satu Suro ceremonies.

Taufik called on villagers wanting to hold larung laut (sea offering) ceremonies to coordinate with the rescue team. “It will be easier to anticipate accidents if we cooperate,” he said.

Tegalrejo villagers in Srigading, Sanden, Bantul, have prepared to hold rituals known as mahesa suro on to mark Islamic New Year's Eve. “The ceremony is the symbol of our gratitude for the fortune we have gotten this year,” mahesa suro ritual committee member Sarwono said.

Sarwono said the villagers would parade a buffalo head and other offerings around the village before putting them out to sea at Samas beach during the ritual.

Pleret villagers also prepared to hold the parade with the Arak Ompak, the foundation stone of the former Pleret Kingdom. Besides an expression of gratitude, the parade is also organized to remind people about the exemplary character of the nation.

Meanwhile, residents of Yogyakarta will hold a topo bisu ritual, in which they walk around the Yogyakarta palace in silence for self-reflection on Wednesday night. (cor/iwa)

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