Welcoming the Islamic New Year
It was a morning for outrageous masks, spectacular costumes, whip-cracking strongmen, rocking horse jousts, lovely ladies and regal romeos dancing in the streets and fun everywhere as Kediri celebrated Muharram, the Islamic New Year’s Day on Thursday (15 Nov)
Kirab Kediri, the annual carnival of the central East Java town, ran for two hours and covered five kilometres. It began about seven years ago to help maintain local culture through a secular NGO called Garuda Mukha.
From a small start the event has grown to embrace hundreds of performers and attract thousands of onlookers delighted by the performers, many using gongs and other ancient instruments they claimed were from the Majapahit era, more than 600 years ago.
The previous evening about 200 people from all faiths gathered to commemorate Satu Suro, the first day of the month of Sura in the old Javanese calendar. Rituals included the purification of kris, the Javanese wavy-blade daggers. Duncan Graham