Padang, the capital of West Sumatra, will once again light up the sky during the annual Torch and Lantern Parade on Saturday (06/08). (Antara Photo/Aditya Pradana Putra)

Torch and Lantern Parade Set to Light Up Padang

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

AUGUST 02, 2017

Jakarta. Padang, the capital of West Sumatra, will once again light up the sky during the annual Torch and Lantern Parade on Saturday (06/08).

"This is an annual event held to commemorate the 348th anniversary of Padang. We hope this event can entertain residents and tourists who come to Padang," Medi Iswandi, head of the city's culture and tourism agency, said as quoted in a statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism on Sunday.

For locals, this is not just an ordinary festival, as it commemorates the defeat of the Dutch colonizers using traditional lanterns, or telong-telong.

"According to history, telong-telong were the lights used by fighters to defeat the Dutch at Muaro Padang in the heroic event of Aug. 7, 1669. At that time, the Pauh and Kuranji people fought against the VOC, which oppressed the people by occupying their buildings," Medi said.

"That night, the Dutch did not expect the attack. They thought the people were just holding a regular traditional parade. Suddenly, the people stormed and attacked them," Medi added.

The attack has since been considered the founding of Padang.

"The message we want to convey through the story is that we must build the state and Padang with unity," Medi explained.

Residents of 11 subdistricts consisting of 104 administrative villages across Padang will participate in the parade, which aims to attract 5,000 visitors to the city.

The parade will start after the Islamic maghrib prayer at Lake Cimpago and end on Jalan Sudirman. A gandang tassa traditional music performance and fireworks will close the event at around 11 p.m.

"This festival will be an attraction for local as well as foreign tourists. The event has now become more attractive and it has great marketing value," said Esthy Reko Astuti, deputy for tourism development at the Tourism Ministry.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has meanwhile lauded the organizers' creativity.

"It will be very memorable for those who come to this festival. The customs and traditions are the pride of the nation. The more they are preserved, the more prosperous the nation will be," Arief said.

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