TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Muslims in Indonesia held festivals, torchlight parades, and various rituals to welcome the Islamic New Year 1440 H on Tuesday, September 11.
Muslim communities from the west to the east of Indonesia celebrated the Islamic New Year`s Eve on Monday evening by holding festivals or flocking to the streets of their towns and cities to parade to express their gratitude to God.
One of the parades was seen in Jambi, Sumatra Island where hundreds of students participated in the torch parade held by the Jambi government on Monday night.
Acting Governor of Jambi, Fachrori Umar, who flagged off the torch parade, said the spirit of the torch parade was the spirit of humanity towards a better change. The momentum should strengthen the relationship between the Jambi provincial government and community, he said.
The spirit of the Islamic New Year does not mean to have fun, but to improve our personality. "We should increase our enthusiasm to improve the region," he said. The Jambi provincial government also held mass prayers and chants in praise of God at Al-Falah mosque on Monday afternoon.
In Cirebon, West Java, thousands of people took to the street to hold a torchlight parade. Coordinator of the torch parade Abdul Hamid Yahya said that the torch rally promoted Islamic Brotherhood. He, therefore, called on all residents of Cirebon city, especially Muslims, to make the momentum of the Islamic new year to reconnect the brotherhood.
During the march, the participants read prayers along the way.
Meanwhile in Garut District, West Java, Majelis Tarbiyah Wanaraja distributed free range chickens to drivers, motorcycle taxi drivers, and horse-drawn buggies coachmen to welcome the Muharram, the first month of the Islamic Year.
"We prepare 1,200 range chickens to be distributed to the community members," Chairman of Majelis Tarbiyah Wanaraja senior clerics Benghan Syarifudin said.
Around 6,000 packages of basic household needs would be distributed to the people. The donations of the social service activities were collected from members of Majelis Tarbiyah Wanaraja. They also gathered in the mosque to carry out mass prayers.
In Papua Province, Muslims in Biak District held mass prayers at Baiturrahman Grand Mosque to welcome the Islamic New Year.
The mass prayers and chants in praise of God run solemnly, followed by local officials of Biak government, military and police personnel, and local people.
Chairman of the Baiturrahman Great Mosque Husin Tamher called on Muslims in Biak to strengthen their commitment to the value of faith and devotion to Allah, God Almighty.
Former head of the Biak Ulema Council Ahmad Burhanulhaq expected that the Islamic New Year could improve the quality of Muslims` faith.