The traditional ceremony of Rebo Kasan is held every year on the last Wednesday of Syafar month.
The traditional ceremony of Rebo Kasan is held every year on the last Wednesday of Syafar month. Rebo Kasan comes from the word Rabu Pungkasan ( Wednesday Pungkasan), the last Wednesday (in Syafar month) which is believed that on that day, the God send down 32,000 kinds of disaster to the earth, so each people should be careful and advised not to work hard and travel far but to read prayers and recollections together to avoid all disasters.
At first, this ceremony is an acculturation ritual of religious values, myths and legends of Malay ethnic ancestors of Bangka Regency. The point is the Tolak Bala ritual as well as fishermen hopes to have overflowing catch. On that day, the fishermen are prohibited to go to sea, but only gathered along the beach to perform the ceremony of Tolak Bala.
The community has various ways and opinions in addressing this, such as they walked together to the village border or seaside and brought food and ketupat (especially ketupat lepas) and wafak water, the holy water that had been recited with prayers written on the porcelain plate with Dawer ink (Dawat) from Mecca. The plate was poured with clean water until the write was erased. The water could be added as much as we want. But along with modernization, many people begin to abandon the tradition. They celebrate Rebo Kasan by going for recreation to the beach and enjoying the food their bring from home.
Air Anyir Village is one of the few villages that still keep the tradition of Rebo Kasan. However, the people do not celebrate it on the beach or at the village border anymore but in the mosque. They read prayers and zikir (chanted phrases in praise of God) together.
The day before the traditional ceremony, the community prepare all kinds of necessities such as food like ketupat and accompanying side dishes, especially, ketupat Tolak Bala according to the number of family members. All foods are served in dulang and can be eaten after the prayers-saying. The ceremony starts from 7.a.m. After prayers-saying and release of Ketupat Tolak Bala, people eat the congregation together and each person brings Wafak water home.The customary party followed by silaturrahiim (visits) to neighbors, family and relatives. People also invite and visit each other like Ied Al-Fitr Day. The silaturrahiim event lasts all day.
Translator: Rita Eviyanti
Editor: Yuliarsih (Ind.) / Rosy Handayani (Eng.)