Tabot ceremony was originally taken and developed by the people from India origin from Siphoy that came with the arrival of British troops to Bengkulu in 1685. They came to Bengkulu from Madras-Bengali southern India, along the British nation during its occupation in Bengkulu. One of the newcomers was a Syiah cleric named Sheikh Burhanuddin whose later better known by the name of Imam Senggolo.
The name of Tabut or is derived from the Arabic word that is Tabut or the Ark, which literally means Wooden Box or crate. It was said that according to the belief of the Children of Israel at the time that when the Ark is emerging and were in the hands of their leaders, it brings good luck to them. On the contrary, when the Ark is lost it will bring bad luck.
Because of this ceremony is long enough to grow and thrive in some communities in the city of Bengkulu, then finally seen as Bengkulu traditional ceremony. Either among the Sippai and all the people of Bengkulu Melayu. Thus the ceremony of Tabot becomes the traditional ceremony of Malay Bengkulu.
In Bengkulu, the Tabot ceremony becomes the mourning commemoration of the death of the Great Syaid Husien bin Ali bin Abi Talib, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. The essence of the ceremony is recaling the efforts of Syiah leader and his people, who attempt to collect the parts of Husien bodies. After all the parts of his body be founded and then it paraded and buried in Karbala Padang. The whole ceremony lasted for 10 days, from 01 to 10 Muharram. The stages of the Tabot ceremony are as follows: Taking the Land, Duduk Penja, Meradai, Merajang, Arak Penja, Arak Serban, Gam (quiet period / mourning) and Arak Gedang and Tabot Terbuang.