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Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad

Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad 2018 and 2019

One of the largest celebrations in Indonesia is the birthday celebration of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

201820 NovTueProphet Muhammad's Birthday
201910 NovSunProphet Muhammad's Birthday
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While this joyous Islamic holiday is known throughout the world as Mawlid, the Indonesian people call it Maulid Nabi. The date of Maulid Nabi is based on the Islamic lunar calendar. In Indonesia, Muslims celebrate Maulid Nabi on the 12th day of the third Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal. This month marks the beginning of spring It is a time of happiness and reverence.

Scale of Maulid Nabi in Indonesia

The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad is one of the largest celebrations in Indonesia. This is primarily due to the fact that Muslims make up approximately 90 percent of the Indonesian population. Maulid Nabi is comparable in scale to Christmas in Europe and North America.

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad

Before you can understand the importance of Maulid Nabi to Indonesian Muslims, you must first know the story of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. In 570 CE, Muhammad was born in Mecca, a city in Arabia. Muhammad’s childhood was fairly quiet, but he lost his mother to an illness in 576 CE. After the death of his mother, Muhammad was cared for by his uncle, Abu Talib. Abu Talib raised Muhammad to adulthood without incident. As an adult, Muhammad worked as a merchant and led a humble life in Mecca. Muhammad married a wealthy widow named Kadijah in 595 CE. Sometime after this, Muhammad began to travel to a nearby mountain cave to rest and meditate. This cave was a place of refuge for Muhammad for many years.

In 610 CE, Muhammad was meditating in the cave when he was visited by an angel. This angel revealed himself to be Gabriel, a messenger from God. Gabriel revealed to Muhammad that God is the only deity and that all who follow God will be rewarded. Muhammad was instructed to spread this message across the lands in the name of God. Because of this, Muhammad became a prophet. As a messenger of God, Muhammad began to spread his knowledge of Gabriel and God to the people of Mecca. While some people began to follow Muhammad and his teachings, the vast majority of Meccans treated Muhammad with hostility. This was due to the fact that most of the Meccans were Pagans and worshiped many deities. Despite this, Muhammad continued to convert people to Islam over a period of twelve years. After gathering a significant group of followers from Mecca and the surrounding areas, the situation between the Muslims and the Pagans escalated. Muhammad led his Muslims away from Mecca in 622 CE. They resettled in Medina and continued to spread the messages of Islam.

The Muslim migration from Mecca to Medina is now known as the Hjira. Soon after the Hjira, Muhammad gathered a force of about 10,000 Muslim men and returned to Mecca. With such a large military force, Muhammad entered Mecca with ease. In Mecca, Muhammad destroyed all of the Pagan idols and proclaimed that “God is one”. During the years that followed Muhammad’s return to Mecca, Muhammad united Arabia into a prosperous Islamic state. The Prophet Muhammad is honored in Indonesia and other Islamic nations across the world because of his ability to found Islam while overcoming intense hardships.


Since Maulid Nabi is one of the largest holidays in Indonesia, many celebrations are held in major cities on the twelfth day of Rabi’ al-awwal.

  • Sekaten Fair

    One of the most popular celebrations for Indonesian adults and children is the Sekaten Fair. Held in Surakarta each year, the Sekaten Fair is a large carnival that offers people to eat tasty food and play games. There are also carnival rides and exhibitions.

  • Grebeg Maulud Rituals

    On Maulid Nabi, Grebeg Maulud rituals are held in Indonesia’s major cities. While the specific details of the Grebeg Maulud can change depending on location, cone-shaped offerings known as gunungen are transported from a public place to a mosque. At the mosque, the gunungen are blessed by clergy and distributed to the public. One of the largest and most popular Grebeg Maulud Rituals takes place in Surakarta. During this ritual, the gunungen are transported from Kasunanan Surakarta Palace to Agung Mosque. The gunungen contain agricultural produce, processed snacks, and coins. If a spectator receives any of these items during a Grebeg Maulud ritual, they will receive good fortune for the year.

  • Weapon Cleansing Ritual

    The weapon cleanings ritual, or Ngarumat Barang Pusaka, is also a major event during Maulid Nabi.


While Maulid Nabi is not based on food, there are some popular treats that Indonesian people enjoy during the holiday. Some of the most popular options include kinang and salted duck eggs.

Maulid Nabi is an Islamic holiday in Indonesia that is associated with fun, happiness, and reverence to God.