X
UCA News
myron-j-pereira
shay-cullen
mary-aileen-d-bacalso
william-j-grimm
michael-kelly
benedict-rogers

Indonesia

Thousands join Holy Week festival in Indonesian province

Centuries-old event draws Catholics from around the world

Melkhior Koli Baran, Larantuka

Melkhior Koli Baran, Larantuka

Published: March 28, 2016 10:51 AM GMT
Thousands join Holy Week festival in Indonesian province

The statue of Tuan Ma or Blessed Mother in a procession during the Holy Week festival in Larantuka, East Nusa Tenggara. (Photo by Melkhior Koli Baran)

Thousands of Catholics attended Holy Week festivities in the capital of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara and according the diocese's bishop the event can bring benefits to the local area.

Bishop Franciscus Kopong Kung of Larantuka said the event attracts thousands of Catholics, locally and from abroad each year.

Among those participating were Catholics from Timor-Leste, Portugal and Poland who joined the five-century-old festival, which is locally called Semana Santa.

Over 5,000 people attended Good Friday festivities alone in the predominantly Catholic province.

Bishop Kung said the popularity of the festival has created religious tourism for the area from which the locals can benefit.

"Through Semana Santa, the local church can embrace other parties to take part as well. The local church can work together with the local government to make this traditional festival a 'people's pilgrimage' or 'religious tourism,'" the prelate said.

 

The statue of Tuan Ma or Blessed Mother after being placed in a chapel in Larantuka, the capital of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara.  (Photo by Melkhior Koli Baran)

 

Thank you. You are now signed up to Daily newsletter

Religious tourism, he said, can also help improve the local people's life.

"So it is not about the celebration itself but also the whole aspect of the local people's daily life," Bishop Kung added.

Semana Santa usually starts on the Wednesday of Holy Week, which this year fell on March 20. The event saw the city's main roads closed as people began their prayers. On Holy Thursday, pilgrims visited three different chapels, where statues of Tuan Ma (Blessed Mother) and TuanMeninu (Baby Jesus) and TuanAnna (Jesus) were placed.

Semana Santa reached its peak on Good Friday. On this day, a 30-minute sea procession took place in the morning. A statue of Tuan Meninu was taken onboard a traditional boat to meet Tuan Ma, which was placed in a separate chapel. Pilgrims followed the voyage.

Also Read

 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia