The market opens on the fifth day of the Javanese five-day-week calendar. The day is traditionally called Kliwon, which is why the market is better known among locals as the kliwonan market. Here, people can find various breeds of cattle.
Apart from cattle, the market also sells household furniture and agricultural tools, but cattle transactions are its main business activity.
From the early morning, cattle traders from Surakarta, Karanganyar, Wonogiri, Boyolali and even from Pacitan in East Java deliver their cattle to the market to be displayed in the open field.
Different breeds like the Limousine, Simmental and Ongole are offered at prices ranging from Rp 14 million (US$1,049) to Rp 40 million per head.
As Idul Adha, the Islamic Day of Sacrifice, approaches, the market is even more crowded than usual.
Some potential buyers might only come to observe the trading activities and local price trends for the sake of comparison with other regions or markets. Some traders like to send their cattle to areas outside Sukoharjo, where transactions are less intense.
The Bekonang kliwonan market has maintained its modest, traditional style, which even draws the attention of people wishing to simply watch others engage in cattle deals. The heat of the sun does not keep buyers from checking the cattle they are interested in, negotiating prices and finally thrashing out an agreement.
The animals on sale are fed to keep them calm. However, when they are transferred to buyers, they sometimes try to escape before getting onto the trucks of their new masters, attracting lots of attention.
Therefore, the kliwonan market has also become a magnet for hobby photographers and videographers, who come from Solo, Yogyakarta or Semarang to watch the trading highlights.