The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad is observed with a public holiday in Indonesia. Also known as Maulid Nabi, the date of this holiday is based in the Islamic lunar calendar. Maulid Nabi falls on the 12th day of the third Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal.
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Muhammad was born in Mecca, a city in Arabia, in 570 CE. 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.
There are numerous Indonesian traditions that are followed on Maulid Nabi. One such tradition is the Grebeg Maulud rituals that 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.