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Jakarta Post

Muslims celebrate Islamic New Year to promote tolerance

  • Aman Rochman and Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Malang, East Java and Medan, North Sumatra   /   Thu, September 21, 2017   /   07:55 pm
Muslims celebrate Islamic New Year to promote tolerance Parade participants carried offerings and tiger ogoh-ogoh (giant effigy) during the celebration of the Islamic New Year in Wonosari village, Malang regency, East Java on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (The Jakarta Post/Aman Rochman)

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.

Read also: Thousands celebrate Javanese New Year in Surakarta

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)