THE REBO KASAN RITUAL

Photo: https://pixabay.com/en/singapore-sultan-mosque-muslim-1681860/

The Rebo Kasan ritual is usually performed at Air Anyer village in Merawang subdistrict of West Bangka Regency. This is a ward off evil ritual and is performed on the third day of the month of Syafar by Islamic Calendar.

According to the information from the Islamic preachers, from daybreak till afternoon, the God, Allah sends at least 3200 kinds of misfortune to the earth on the last third day of Syafar.  All the people should be more careful on that day, because they will probably get accidents unexpectedly. It is said that they had better postpone going somewhere or doing something till 02.00 pm. It is also advisable that all of them should stay together to say their prayers in order to reduce the possibility of getting bad luck sent by Allah.

People have their own methods and opinions to perform such a ritual.  It is usually held at the border of the village. The villagers go there together with their ketupat tolak bala and fresh water which will be transformed into wafak water.

Actually, ketupat is the rice cake boiled in a rhombus-shaped packet of plaited young coconut leaves. However, ketupat tolak bala has no rice cake inside and it will easily be unfastened if its front or back leaves are pulled. Tolak bala means ward off evil.

Wafak water is the fresh water which has been given the sacred words taken from the holy verses of Koran. The sacred Arabic words are written on the surface of a clean and white porcelain plate with the dawer ink of Mecca.

Later on, they put some water in the plate until the sacred words are totally dissolved. If someone needs more holy water for good fortune, more extra fresh water can be filled in that plate.

In former days, the villagers who consisted of men, women, children, young and old stayed together on the appointed spot. Nowadays, there are only men coming to join the ritual and they stay in the mosque for prayers.

The villagers have prepared everything that is needed before the day of Rebo Kasan. On that day, they bring their own food, ketupat and fresh water to the mosque where the ritual takes place at seven o’clock in the morning.

When the ritual begins, a man stands in front of the door of the mosque and starts the call to prayer. After all the followers have finished praying together, they begin to unfasten the Ketupat Tolak Bala one by one as well as saying their family members’ names. All of them may have their food afterwards. After taking a short break, they go to take wafak water for their families. Then, they go to visit their relatives before home.

A lot of people take this chance to go to Air Anyer beach for recreation in the afternoon. There are also a lot of visitors who come from other places to watch the Rebo Kasan ritual every year.

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