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Tabuik

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This article is about a special ceremony in Indonesia. For another ceremony named Tabut, see Tabut Gardani (Coffin-carrying).
Event of Tabuik in Indonesia

Tabuik or Tabut is manifestation of the remembrance of martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) in Muharram which is held in Minangkabau in West Sumatra Indonesia. Tabuik in held in the first ten days of Muharram every year. People carry Tabut (coffin) to the beach in a procession and it is finally thrown into the sea. The ceremony is not held by only Shiites, but also a large number of Sunni Muslims attend it as well.

Background

The practice was introduced to the region by Shi'ite Muslim troops from India who stationed and later settled during the British Raj.

Event

In the event of Tabuik, symbolic coffins are prepared, carried to the beach and then thrown into the sea. The coffin is called Tabuik with 10 meters height which is made from bamboo, rattan, and paper. Sometimes it is made from hard wood, cotton, colorful papers and even gold. In the front part of coffin, there is a symbol of Buraq (heavenly creature similar to horse).

Local people believe Imam al-Husayn (a) and Imam al-Hasan (a) were both martyred in the Battle of Karbala. They believe souls of both Imams were carried to heaven bay Buraq. People carry coffins while playing Tanbur, drums and Dhol music. In the afternoon, both coffins are carried to the beach and they are thrown into the sea before the sunset. In the morning Tabuik, Daraga, Panja and turban of Imam al-Husayn (a) are carried in the streets by ten thousands of people of Pariaman. People walk slowly as they carry coffins, they weep, sob and sometimes shout loudly "Huyak Tabuik … Huyak Ya Husayn". The ceremony ends in sunset when coffins are thrown into the sea which is a symbol of soul of Imam al-Husayn (a) taken to heaven. When the coffins drown into the sea, people carry the materials they brought and used in the ceremony and return their homes.

Currently the coffins made for the ceremony cost 1500 U.S. dollars. It is a traditional and cultural ceremony in Minangkabau. If people are unable to attend the ceremony, they would send gifts and provide financial support for the ceremony.

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