Hoyak Tabuik Festival


The Tabuik Festival is closely related to the growth and development of Islam, especially Shia Islam, in Pariaman.  It is held annually over the course of ten days every Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the Battle of Karbala, (October 10 680AD) a brief military engagement in which al-Husayn ibn 'Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, was defeated and massacred by an army sent by Umayyad caliph Yazid I. The battle helped to  secure the position of the Umayyad dynasty. It is often seen as an annual holy day of public morning.

'Tabuik' is a term often used to refer to the high funeral biers carried around during processions. In Pariaman, the Tabuik is made of bamboo, rattan (palm) and paper. In the morning, the Tabuik is slowly carried along the beach. There are many activities including reenactments of the Battle of Karbala and then the Tabuik is thrown into the sea as a ritual.

People rush into the sea to take parts of the Tabuik as keepsakes. Indian Shi'ite Muslim troops, who were stationed in Pariaman and later settled there during the British Raj, introduced this ritual in 1831. People come from far and wide come to partake in the commemoration, including from neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. The festival is the perfect opportunity to indulge in the rich culture of the Minangkabau people, the largest matrilineal society on earth, and witness art forms such as Indang Dance, Dabuih, Gamad, Nasyid, Silat, Minangkabau folksongs and many more.

The following outlines the process of the Tabuik Festival over the course of the ten days:

  1. Making Daraga. Daraga is a place where the architect and his workers make, keep

and finish the Tabuik

  1. Getting Soil
  2. Cutting Banana Tree
  3. Maatam
  4. Maarak Panja
  5. Maarak Saroban
  6. Tabuik Naiak Pangkek
  7. Tabuik Festival
  8. Throwing into the sea