Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Some times ago, Yogyakarta just finished celebrating its festival which is usually called as Sekaten. It gave me idea to share the information about it to more introduce my hometown's cultures :) Pictures are not owned by me. Hope this post could give you some information about it :)

Sekaten is long week of Javanese (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) traditional ceremony which is started with pasar malam (night market), fair, festival and ended by the main event which is usually called as Grebeg Muludan. The name of Sekaten actually coming from Arabic words Syahadatain. This event celebrated annually and in order to commemorating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW that usually called as Maulid Nabi. This event started on 5th day of Rabiul Awal (Islamic Calendar) and took place in Alun-Alun Utara Yogyakarta whereas the Keraton is placed. It were initiated by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (the founder of Keraton Yogyakarta) to invite Yogyakarta people to promote in Islamic faith.

As I mentioned before, this event started with night market, fair, and festival. That night market usually starting in the beginning around 3 weeks before the opening of ceremony. During that time, people around Yogyakarta could coming to that event and enjoy the fair or night market. There you can find some of playgrounds such as Kora-Kora, Rumah hantu, bianglala, and others. If you coming there with your little brothers or sisters you can also buy them some traditional toys, or maybe buy also some traditional foods and snacks that you can easily find there such as pecel, sate, kerak telor, bolang baling, cakwe, and others. You can spend time there with your friends by playing in the playground or just taking some pictures. 

In the opening ceremony,
the ceremony started during the night by the royal parade of Abdi Dalem (Keraton's guards and officials) which is accompanied by two set of Gamelan Sekaten, which is named Kyai Nogowilogo and Kyai Gunturmadu. This royal procession started in Pendopo (Hall) Ponconiti towards Yogyakarta Grandt Mosque (Masjid Agung) in the northern alun-alun that guarded bt palace guards. The Kyai Nogowilogo gamelan will be placed at northern pavilion of Grand Mosque while gamelan Kyai Gunturmadu will be placed at Pagongan pavilion in southern side of the mosque. These two sacred gamelans will be played simultaneously everyday until the 11th day of Maulud month through seven consecutives days. During the last day, the two gamelan will be returned back into Keraton Palace.

Two days before Grebeg Muludan, the ceremony called Tumplak Wajik was held in Palace Magangan field at 4.00 p.m. This ceremony started by kotekan ceremony which incorporate singing traditional songs which is accompanied with rhytmic hitting of kentongan (bamboo or wooden slit drum) and lumpang (rice mortar and pestle) that marked the making process of Gunungan that will be carried in Grebeg Mulud Festival. The songs that played in this event is usually the popular Javanese traditional songs such as Lompong Keli, Tundhung Setan, Owal Awil, etc.

Then, as I mentioned before that the main event of Sekaten is called as Grebeg Muludan that held in 12th day (exactly during the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW), started in 08.00 a.m. Gunungan is symbol of the wealth and prosperity of Kesultanan Mataram (Mataram period). Gunungan that has meaning of Mountain in English is a model of mountain that made of sticky rice, sweets, various foods, crackers, fruits and vegetables. Gunungan were guarded by 10 units of bregodo (brigade) of Keraton's royal guards (Wibrojo, Daeng, Patangpuluh, Jogokaryo, Prawirotomo, Nyutro, Ketanggung, Mantrijero, Surokarso, and Bugis). Then this Gunungan will be carried in procession from Kemandungan through Sithinggil and Pagelaran hall and finally ended in Grand Mosque. After the prayer, Gunungan will be picked, and fought over by the people that already waiting in the alun-alun. They believe that those objects are sacred, and could bring luck, prosperity and wealth upon their households. Usually these part of Gunungan will be kept in the house or burried in the rice field as the traditional Javanese farmers believed that those objects will grant their fields fertility, and protection from locust, plagues, and any misfortunes that might be fell them. 

Below is the pictures during the Sekaten event :)

Keraton's symbol

Traditional toys that sold in Sekaten (night markert)

Traditional food seller

Traditional food seller

Traditional snack (sorry I forgot the name, but it tastes sweet)

Another traditional snack which named Ndog Bledek

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