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Aceh cities ban citizens and tourists from celebrating New Year's Eve

Coconuts Jakarta - December 23, 2019

There are to be no fireworks or – heaven forbid – alcohol and debauchery on New Year's Eve in two major Aceh cities, which have officially banned all celebrations welcoming the year 2020.

One of the two is the island city of Sabang, the city administration of which recently issued a circular forbidding any NYE festivities, which include, "blowing horns, lighting fireworks,... drinking alcohol, free [sexual] relations, street racing, gambling, and all activities deemed haram (forbidden) by Islam."

The ban applies to both locals and tourists on the island. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, and all entertainment establishments are expected not to hold any NYE events.Furthermore, the city administration also prohibited Islamic-themed events and mass prayers at midnight on Dec. 31 if the intention is to mark the turn of the year, as doing so could give credibility to other NYE celebrations.

In the Aceh capital of Banda Aceh, where NYE celebrations were banned last year, the city administration has once again banned the festivities for similar reasons outlined by Sabang, and in order to "preserve peace, security, and order among citizens."

No punishments were clearly outlined for those who violate the ban, but officials say that the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) will be patrolling the streets of the cities to ensure that the rules are observed.

Aceh, the only region with special autonomy to enact sharia-based laws in Indonesia, has regularly introduced unique religious-based policies over the years, such as the banning of Wi-Fi at coffee shops in a village so kids don't get distracted from reading the Quran and a regency prohibiting cafes from serving women after 9pm without male guardians.

Source: https://coconuts.co/jakarta/news/aceh-cities-ban-citizens-and-tourists-from-celebrating-new-years-eve