The Jakarta Post
The first ever Mount Lawu Flag Festival was held recently on the slopes of Mount Lawu in Karangpandan district, Karanganyar, Central Java, from Dec. 30 to 31, 2017. The festival was held to celebrate the end of the year as well as commemorate Prince Sambernyawa (Mangkunegara I), the first ruler of the Surakarta kingdom.
Featuring hundreds of flags, the festival was a collaborative project between the residents of Tuk Dira hamlet, Gerdu village and Karangpandan district and the Mataya Arts & Heritage and MasDon Art Movement.
Gerdu village head of administration Suwarno said that the elders believed that Prince Sambernyawa hoisted a flag in Tuk Dira hamlet during his fight against the Dutch.
Meanwhile, historian Heri Priyatmoko said that Tuk Dira hamlet was an area known for honoring Prince Sambernyawa’s patriotic spirit.
The festival kicked off with a flag parade from the village to a rice field. Carrying various flags, the participants were seen climbing the terrace fields and hoisting hundreds of flags, including a 15-meter-long Indonesian flag.
Furthermore, the event also featured art performances by artists from Yogyakarta and Surakarta accompanied by Lawu Percussion.
In addition to the performances, the two-day event also featured various workshops on flag-making, batik-making and turning rain into drinkable water.
Meanwhile, food booths were set up presenting traditional delicacies, such as es dawet (iced beverage with rice flour jelly, palm sugar and coconut milk) and soto kuali (Solo-style soup cooked in a clay pot).
Karanganyar tourism head Titis Sri Jawoto said he appreciated the villagers' effort to promote the area through an arts and culture festival. He said the festival could become an annual event that could help boost tourism in Karanganyar. (jes/asw)