Every year, the echo of Eid takbir reverberates from all over the city. Residents of each region have their own traditions in interpreting the holiday.
As in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, the booming booming sound has become its own characteristic.
The sound of cannons blaring on the banks of the Kapuas River.
The excitement of the carbide cannon is legendary and has been part of Pontianak’s history since ancient times.
Until now, the tradition of colorful and lively carbide cannons is still held to welcome Eid al-Fitr.
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According to legend, carbide cannons were used to chase away ‘ghosts’ in the Kapuas River
According to legend, the tradition of the carbide cannon is nostalgia to remember the local leader named Sultan Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie (1771-1808) when he expelled the ‘ghosts’ around the Kapuas River until the city of Pontianak was formed.
In the past, when Sultan Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie was walking along the watershed to convey the teachings of Islam, he crossed its tributary, namely the Landak river or Tanjung Besiku.
There, he found a nest of pirates who committed robbery. He also ordered his men to shoot pirate ships using cannons.
Pirates who cross the Kapuas river are known as the ‘ghosts’ of Pontianak which are very scary.
According to another legend, the ghost in Pontianak is a woman who has long hair, a beautiful face, but her mouth looks bloody, and her back is hollow.
Also has another philosophy to eliminate the lust of the fasting person
A ghost that crosses a creek is called a child ghost. People since ancient times have called the ghost at the door of the creek kuntilanak, as well as the Pontianak ghost story which is also part of the famous legend in the city of Pontianak.
The story of the carbide cannon tradition at the end of Ramadan and before Eid has become a kind of story that has been passed down from generation to generation and has been preserved until now, especially among the people of the Kapuas riverside.
The carbide cannon which is a symbol of exorcist also has another philosophy, namely to eliminate the lusts of fasting people.
The peak is when the night of Eid al-Fitr is a sign of the arrival of the month of Shawwal.
Many citizens participated, but there were also those who just watched
One of Pontianak’s cultural experts, namely Syafaruddin Usman, mentioned the tradition of carbide cannons carried out by the people of Pontianak at the end of Ramadan also to welcome the night of Lailatul Qadar.
The average size of the carbide cannon is 50-100 cm in diameter. The length also varies, between 3-5 meters. For one boom, his voice could be heard throughout Pontianak.
Many residents who live on the banks of the Kapuas river participate in the ‘sound war’ of carbide cannons that have been painted in colorful colors.
In addition to participating, there were also those who only watched from a distance, because not all of them dared to fire a giant cannon.
From year to year, the carbide cannon festival is always awaited by the public
The tradition of carbide cannons, which are usually made from large tree trunks, has also become one of the traditional games that are preserved by the people in Pontianak.
Preparations to make it have been done since the beginning of Ramadan. The wooden blocks that were initially soaked were then lifted to the ground.
The goal is to use it longer. Dirt that sticks during soaking is then cleaned.
After cleaning, the blocks that were previously divided into two are then reassembled together with a thick cloth. As soon as it dries, the blocks are wrapped or covered with rattan so they don’t break when they sound.
The process for wrapping it takes a few days depending on the amount. The ready cannon is then placed on a stand facing the other side of the river.
From year to year, the event in the form of a festive festival is always eagerly awaited by the public.
But in 2021 the local government will not hold this year’s festival because it reduces the risk of an unfinished pandemic.
But the public is allowed if they still want to make it with some conditions and restrictions that meet health protocols.