Sat, 23 Aug 2003

Nimmala temple to host 'Cioko'

JAKARTA: Thousands of Buddhists, Taoists and Confucianists from Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan islands have gathered at the Nimmala temple in Jl. Pasar Baru, Tangerang, over the last few days in anticipation of Saturday's Cioko (fighting over food) ceremony, with a prayer being held at 12 noon.

The prayer will be followed by the burning of a seven-meter- high Bun Tai Sui (king of the devil) and 12-meter-long dragon boat effigy. It is hoped that the offerings will bring security and prosperity to the world.

Chairman of the organizing committee Tjoa Tjoan Kim said that the ceremony would be preceded over by suhu (teacher) Xue Yuan.

On Sunday, the organizers will distribute 33 tons of rice and instant noodles to poor people around the city. Free medical service will also be available at the Nimmala clinics, next to the temple.

Nimmala temple, built in 1689, is credited at the Indonesian Records Museum (MURI) for 10 records related to such ceremonies. -- JP