Tala'al badru alaina
min thaniyyatil wada'
ma da'a lillahi da'
O the white moon rose over us
From the valley of Wada'
And we owe it to show gratefulness
Where the call is to Allah
Ayyuhal mab'u thu fiina
ji'ta bil amril muta'
ji'ta sharraftal madina
marhaban ya khaira da'
O you were raised amongst us
coming with a work to be obeyed
You have brought to this city nobleness
Welcome! best call to God's way.
(English Translation: Yusuf Islam)
Although I didn't join in the procession for the maulid ( I hope it is not out of apathy), I tried to salawat, skimmed through Martin Ling's Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources, and sent sms-es to friends wishing them well on that day.
I can't remember participating in any maulid procession when I was little, but I remember my father did, taking my two brothers with him. They were dressed in the baju Melayu and songkok and it seemed very festive indeed. We, the rest of the family would watch the national level celebrations on tv.
Last night, we were invited out by the children and had dinner at Kohinoor, Jalan Y. K. Seng. Son in law said in his country, Algeria, maulid is celebrated in a big way. On the day itself, just at maghrib, all lights at home are turned off, and candles are lit. Just before isha', the lights are turned on again, special dinner of couscous is served and after dinner, firecrackers start a-cracking.
AHS related that in his hometown in Malacca, they still follow the tradition of marhaban from the first of Rabiul Awwal till the twelfth.