New Year celebrated across Indonesia

New Year celebrated across Indonesia

While many regions closed last year with sparks and bangs, some observed the passage of time differently.

Surabaya and East Java administrations observed New Year's Eve on Wednesday night in a somber mood, cancelling celebrations in respect for those who lost loved ones in the recent AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash on the Surabaya-Singapore route.

Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini announced the cancellation and called on people not to celebrate New Year's Eve excessively. She led a mass prayer at Bungkul Park for the victims of the fatal accident.

"Hopefully the families of the victims are strong and no more disasters will happen," said the mayor, popularly known as Risma, who had 81 people from her contingent on board the aircraft.

East Java Governor Soekarwo made a similar gesture citing the same reason, sending circulars to all regencies and city administrations in the province asking them to celebrate the New Year in a humble way.

Despite making the call, the administrations did not prevent those who chose to celebrate and prepared public areas across Surabaya for people to gather.

In Banda Aceh, people celebrated New Year's Eve without festivities and fireworks as the local administration had banned them.

As such, many spent the evening driving around town on their motorcycles and in cars along the city's main roads without blowing the obligatory New Year trumpets or other celebratory accessories.

In Cilacap, Central Java, the regency administration decided to hold a mass prayer in the town square praying for strength and safety. Thousands of homes had been inundated in the regency following days of heavy rain nearing the end of December.

In Batam, Riau Islands province, celebrations in Engku Putri Batam square opened with a joint prayer led by Mayor Ahmad Dahlan for the victims of the AirAsia flight.

New Year's Eve celebrations took place across Batam, with entertainment including concerts and fireworks. In Gorontalo, dozens of people from Al-Adha foundation held a Gaib prayer, a Muslim prayer for the dead, for the victims of the AirAsia flight to greet the New Year.

Similarly, a mass prayer and preaching also took place at Baiturrahim Grand Mosque organised by the Gorontalo provincial administration, as well as a people's party held at Taruna Remaja Square.

In Makassar, South Sulawesi, heavy rain did not prevent people from celebrating from early evening.

The celebrations were centred at Losari Beach and in Makassar, with hundreds of thousands of people joining in.

Mass prayers were also held at the official residences of top government officials and in mosques. Apart from praying for a better year in 2015, they also prayed for the victims of the AirAsia crash.

In Semarang, Central Java, musical performances marked the coming of 2015 across public places in the city, with the focal stage by Johar Grand Post Office.

In Surakarta, Central Java, a one-hour blackout prior to midnight did not stop people from enjoying the car-free night held to celebrate New Year's Eve along the city's main thoroughfares of Jl. Slamet Riyadi and Jl. Jend. Sudirman.

In Yogyakarta, tens of thousands of locals and tourists celebrated New Year's Eve at places such as Tugu Jogja Monument and Jl. Malioboro, Parangtritis and Depok beaches in Bantul regency and Kaliurang resort in Sleman regency.

Syamsul Huda M Suhari, Andi Hajramurni, Suherdjoko, Kusumasari Ayuningtyas, Agus Maryono and Slamet Susanto contributed to this story.


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