Sharing Peace and Harmony from Easter Day
Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as “Holy Week”. It contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
Most Christians celebrate this special day with different and unique ways. Did you know that Easter celebrations are identical with eggs and chocolate? That This tradition begin when European folks shared eggs as a symbol of the coming of spring. This habit was continued and adapted by other countries during the easter celebration. Now, let’s see several regions in Indonesia that hold various unique processions as a symbol of a tradition that has been passed down for generations.
- Semana Santa in East Flores
Larantuka City in East Flores will be the center of celebrating Semana Santa towards Easter day. Many tourists, and people from various regions of Indonesia come to join the procession that is considered sacred by this local community.
But before we continue, do you know what Semana Santa is? It is a holy week, that starts from Wednesday until Sunday (Easter week), and the point event celebrate on Friday (Good Friday).
On the first day, people gather and pray, remembering Judas Iscariot’s betrayal towards Jesus which led to Jesus’ arrest, freezing and crucifixion. This is when the city of Larantuka transformed into the City of Mourning, while sinking into reverence and reflection for soul purification. On Thursday, the street will be decorated with candles. Statue of Virgin Mary or locally known as Tuan Ma, will be cleaned and dressed black as a mourning symbol. After that, on Friday, statue of Jesus will be dissolved in the water.
- Kure in Nusa Tenggara Timur
Kure comes from Latin which means praying while visiting family. The rotating prayer tradition that takes place on the eve of Holy Thursday and Good Friday in the series of commemorating Easter is called the Kure tradition.
In the Kure procession, residents will clean the statue of Jesus and the statue of Mary which is usually displayed in the church. Visitors will also bring offerings of food and drinks that will be enjoyed together.
The Kure procession begins with the self-emptying ritual (Boe Nekaf) or the Trebluman ritual, which is performed on Wednesday, the day before the tri holy day. All of the Ume Ueno Neno clans gather together, to pray, reflect, and regret their sins (Toas Nek Amleut Polin), so that they can be ready to enter the miserable week.
- Memento Mori in Kalimantan Tengah
Memento Mori, is a sentence in Latin which means “Remember your death”, but also “Remember to die.”. This sentence is the motto of the Trappa brothers.
Memento mori, This tradition is an acculturation from the Dutch era since the 19th century. In addition to carrying out marches on the streets, they visit and clean the graves of family or relatives on the eve of Easter, spending the night gathering at the family tomb until morning arrived. At dawn, around five o’clock in the morning, they hold an Easter service near the tomb which is installed by tents.
This event is held by Christians in Muara Teweh. The city of Muara Teweh, also a city with a high level of tolerance among religious people, is also the same as the City of Palangka Raya, the highest level of inter-religious tolerance in Indonesia.
- Jalan Salib in Wonogiri
'Jalan Salib’ procession is done a lot in another countries during Easter day. In Indonesia, this procession is more special because it is done in Gandul Mountain.
In this procession, there is a theatrical action carrying the symbol of a large cross with thousands of people parading with their mouths full of prayers. There are 14 stops in this procession, but the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 9th stops are not explicitly recorded in the traditional version of Bible.
The Way of the Cross, also known as Via Dolorosa, is a narrative or depiction of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life in the world, which continually gives spiritual beliefs to all Christians and their application in our lives. The Way of the Cross serves as a cruel reminder of Jesus’ willingness to override His divine authority to provide a way of salvation through His sacrifice.