The Surakarta Palace held a grand Gerebeg or Gerebeg Besar on Sept. 13 as part of a procession to carry a pair of gunungan [cone-shaped offerings] that symbolize male and female specific offerings. The offerings, which consist of results of the harvest and local snacks, were paraded for about 300 meters from the palace to the front yard of the grand mosque.
The Gerebeg Besar marks the highlight of the commemoration of Idul Adha [Islamic Day of Sacrifice].
Prince Aryo Winarno Kusumo explained that gunungan was a symbol of gratitude from the people to God for abundant blessings during the month of besar [great], which falls according to the Javanese calendar.
For Surakartans, the celebration began once the mass prayer ended. Hundreds of people fought to grab the gunungan. People believe that by taking home offerings they ensure fortune, health and safety for their family members. [dmr]