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No fireworks for Banda Aceh as officials ban New Year celebrations

Jakarta Globe - December 29, 2015

Jakarta The city of Banda Aceh has issued a decree banning its predominantly Muslim residents from celebrating the New Year, an official said on Tuesday.

"It is forbidden for Muslims to celebrate Christmas and Christian New Year," Banda Aceh Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin said, as quoted by Tempo.co.

Zainal added that New Year celebrations featuring trumpets, fireworks and music are not in line with the Islamic shariah, which Aceh has adopted as law. It is not clear what kind of penalty violators may face.

The decision was made by a Regional Leadership Communications Forum, comprised of leaders from various government agencies, the deputy mayor said.

The leaders also banned Muslims from marking the changing of the year through Islamic prayer and Koranic recital.

Zainal said Muslims should only celebrate the Islamic New Year, although the lunar calendar has never been adopted by Indonesians, including those in Aceh.

Source: http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/no-fireworks-banda-aceh-officials-ban-new-year-celebrations/.

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