The Ritual of Semana Santa in Larantuka, East Flores
Larantuka is one of the pilgrimages for Catholics in Indonesia, which is located in East Flores. Larantuka is also known by the name of the Reinha City (Portuguese), which means the Queen City or Town of Maria.
Especially in celebration of Easter, the city will be flooded with pilgrims from all over the archipelago, even when I was there, approximately 20 foreign tourists seem to participate in his procession.
As city of pilgrimage, Larantuka is nearly the same to Fatima in Portugal and Lourdes in France. Just like those two cities, the one who was appointed as a magnet icon shrine is Mother Maria. And to commemorate the apparition of Our Lady in Larantuka about 500 years ago, held a ceremony Semana Santa every year. Until now, the belief in the visions and the core remained ceremony Semana Santa.
After more than 4 hours sitting in a car seat that took me out of the town of Maumere towards Larantuka, finally a golden statue of Mary holding Jesus being wounded seem poised on the crossroads junction.
The statue is as if to say "Welcome to the City of Larantuka"
Actually, while we were sitting from Maumere was not a nightmare though voice of crying child endlessly, greeted with chickens’ crow brought by one of the passengers.
The scenery along the road between Maumere to Larantuka is like a panorama that often adorns calendars or postcards. it was so beautiful. On the left, there is a stretch of sea and mountains on the right side. One called Ili Egon (1710m) and Ili Wukoh (1450m) which stands proudly. It was no exaggeration when I say that the route-by-route Maumere - Larantuka and vice versa is a journey with a beautiful panorama.
As I arrived at the gate of the hotel, the staff called my name and say welcomes. Booking process of accommodation close by of Semana Santa in Larantuka was absurdly difficult, on the average, pilgrims have to order way ahead, often even 1 year before, I was lucky to have a friend, a local Larantuka kid who have bothered to find one room for me to live.
The ritual of Semana Santa occurs for a week, going on towards death of Jesus on the cross, until the feast of the Passover or the rise of Jesus Christ.
On Friday morning I was rushing to Tuan Ma Chapel (Mother Mary) which is located not far from the Port Larantuka, tiny chapel with a mountain backdrop of Ili Mandiri (1510m) and the front page is clean, calm sea. Hundreds people entering the altar, kneeling while praying with rosary in hand. In addition to the visible altar yields offered by the congregation, consisting of maize, rice, cassava, and various fruits.
An atmosphere full of wisdom was really strong. What was left was only peaceful feeling in heart.
Exactly at noon, the sea procession was started. Parade of wooden boats and canoes with a black flag were heading to the port just across the Tuan Ma Chapel. It was like a regular mass but on the ship, the congregation on the ship endlessly glorifying and exalting the name of God. Interspersed with the Lord's Prayer and the Prayer of Mary.
The congregation wore black mourning clothes and white clothes for officers who carry the wooden statue of the Virgin Mary.
The congregation that stands along the edge of the road paying tribute with the words of hope that miracle such as healing and recovery may occur.
During the day, from Tuan Ma Chapel, procession statues of the Virgin Mary (Tuan Ma in the language Nagi) who picked up a statue of Jesus Christ (Tuan Ana) to jointly marched towards the cathedral Larantuka. Afternoon and evening, after the Good Friday Mass and memorial cross, began the procession from the Cathedral sculpture Larantuka Tuan Ma Ana and surrounding cities Larantuka, through the lives of eight stopover point (Armida).