What kind of new year do you celebrate besides the international one?
Indonesia in the most part observes the international new year, but there are also two other new years which are celebrated as well and becomes part of national holidays. The first is surely Islamic New Year, and Chinese New Year (just after 2002). All of them are lunar calendars and the date is based of lunar’s movement, as it’s more flexible than the solar one.
Islamic calendar is eleven to twelve days shorter than Gregorian one, and it doesn’t come to the same day as the solar Gregorian too. It is based from 622 AD event when The Prophet Muhammad PBUH did hijra or emmigrated from Mecca to Madinah in order to escape from the killing threat from his enemies. It’s celebrated by Muslims around the world and by using various ways. Several hours later, the year will change to 1437 Hijriyah
Meanwhile, Javanese also has got its own new year, which is based on lunar calendar, and celebrated at the same day with the Islamic one. According to the legend, Javanese calendar is initiated by King Aji Saka’s arrival to Java from India. He created Javanese writing system from modified Brahmic script called Carakan or Hanacaraka. The difference between Javanese calendar and Gregorian one is 78 year. It means King Aji Saka fled and came in around 78 A.D. Initally, as far as I know, Javanese calendar’s start was same with Hindu calendar system, but then after The Islamic Mataram Kingdom during and after Sultan Agung’s reign, Javanese calendar became same with the Islamic one. And tonight, according to the Javanese calendar, it will be 1949.
Every new year has got the similar goal….better future. I -myself- have expectation after these new years, many Javanese people do not celebrate Javanese new year as its mystical values and unislamic rites such as kris cleaning rite, tapa brata, and many more which I cannot mention one for one. But I just take the positive thing about it, and it relates to the cultural aspect. This year, I have already prepared two greeting pictures which I created by some effort, as I am still learning more about photoshop after my years’ ignorance. Actually my two jobs in the past were in IT’s environment, but I never interested in it as I only taught English. But after living here and then my working environment has already transformed me gradually for being into designing, though still amateur and needs to improve. These photos combine between Islamic and Javanese values which represented by moon and gunungan in one picture, while in the second photo, I combined between mosque and gunungan silhouettes.
Gunungan (literally Mountain-like) is part of wayang (puppet) show especially for Javanese. It is usually placed at the beginning, or also when the wayang scene is about to be changed. It also represents about wisdom as well as life itself. We have to be wise for facing our own life.
These are my works and happy new year for all Muslims in the world (and also Javanese around the globe too).
Happy Islamic New Year 1437 H
Selamat Tahun Baru Hijriyah 1437 H
Sugeng Warsa Enggal 1437 H/ 1949