Tabuik being lowered into the sea in Pariaman
Frequencyevery year

A Tabuik is the local manifestation of the Remembrance of Muharram among the Minangkabau people in the coastal regions of West Sumatra, Indonesia, particularly in the city of Pariaman.


A "tabuik" also refers to the towering funeral biers carried around during the remembrance procession, and is similar in form to several of the indigenous cultures' totems found in the old world Western cultures.

Since 1831, the practice of throwing a tabuik into the sea has taken place every year in Pariaman on the 10th of Muharram.[1] The practice was introduced to the region by the Shi'ite Muslim sepoy troops from India who were stationed—and later settled—there during the British Raj.[1]

The events

A tabuik monument in the center of Pariaman, Indonesia

The festival includes reenactments of the Battle of Karbala and the playing of tassa and dhol drums. Although originally a Shi'a festival, nowadays most inhabitants of Pariaman and other southeastern Asia areas hold similar festivals which are even celebrated by non-Muslims.

The remembrance bier

The remembrance is referred to as Tabut or Tabot in Indonesian. Tabut is the name given in the Quran for The Ark of the Covenant. One or more tabuiks made from bamboo, rattan, and paper are usually prepared for the ceremony. Activities held during the week of Tabuik include kite races, traditional plays, and dance expositions (such as the Tari Piring). The memorial draws a large crowd including dignitaries such as the provincial governor. Visitors and celebrants can observe the tabuik in the morning before it is slowly taken to the beach in a procession. At noon, the tabuik is thrown into the sea. Afterwards, many people go swimming to make 'memories' of the tabuik to cherish.


See also


  1. ^ a b Bachyul Jb, Syofiardi (2006-03-01). "'Tabuik' festival: From a religious event to tourism". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2007-01-27.