Muslims celebrate Islamic New Year to promote tolerance
Aman Rochman and Apriadi Gunawan
The Jakarta Post
Indonesians across the country celebrated on Thursday the Islamic New Year with traditional festivities and rituals.
In Malang regency, East Java, hundreds of residents from different religious backgrounds took part in a traditional parade to celebrate the Islamic New Year. The celebration took place in the Wonosari village, at the foot of the Mount Kawi.
For members of Javanese communities, the Islamic New Year coincides with the Javanese New Year which also falls on the first day of Suro in the Javanese calendar.
In the parade, locals brought offerings and ogoh-ogoh (giant effigies) which they carried in a procession along the village’s roads.
Village head Kuswanto said the event was held with the aim also to promote tolerance.
“Each ogoh-ogoh could cost up to Rp 5 million [US$375] which was shared by residents regardless their religious backgrounds,” he said.
“Each year, we use different theme for the ogoh-ogoh. Usually participants use characters from movies or television dramas that are currently popular,” Kuswanto added.
The event has also been made as a regular tourist attraction.
Rudi Mardiana, 56, a visitor from Bandung, West Java, said he came to village to celebrate Islamic New Year and joined a mass prayer that he hoped could bring success to his business.
In Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, hundreds of local residents celebrated Islamic New Year by joining a parade.
The participants marched from the Medan Grand Mosque on Jl. Diponegoro to the Taqwa Mosque on Jl. Mongonsidi. (bbs)
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