Headlines

Hive of activity in Yogyakarta
for royal wedding

Visitors who want to travel to Yogyakarta for the wedding of Sultan Hamengkubuwono X’s fourth daughter Gusti Raden Ajeng Nur Abra Juwita, known as Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hayu, 29, and Angger Pribadi Wibowo (KPH Notonegoro), 39 — which will be held from Oct. 21 to 23 — should be aware that hotel rooms in the city center are selling like hotcakes.

“Hotel rooms located in the ring 1 around Jl. Malioboro are fully booked, especially on Wednesday, Oct. 23,” said Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) Yogyakarta chapter head Istijab on Saturday.

“[Wednesday is popular because] guests and visitors want to see the wedding parade,” he added.

The occupancy rate at hotels located in the ring 2 area is 80 percent, while the occupancy rate of hotels in the ring 3 area and further afield is around 70 percent.

“The normal occupancy rate is around 50 percent,” Istijab said.

As part of the hotel service, hoteliers have joined forces with local state-owned TV station TVRI as well as local radio stations to offer guests the opportunity to send wishes to the royal couple.

Royal wedding committee head KRT Yudho Hadiningrat said that 2,250 invitations — 750 for the actual wedding at the palace and 1,500 for the reception, which will be at the Kepatihan gubernatorial office complex — had been sent to guests.

President Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono and Vice President Boediono are scheduled to attend the reception, which will be held on Tuesday.

Other VIP guests include high-rank officials, ambassadors and regional heads.

The wedding, which will be streamed live on kratonwedding.com, will feature a series of rituals as Sultan Hamengkubuwono X champions the preservation of tradition and weddings are a particularly rich example of a customary service.

The first day of the wedding will include siraman (bathing) in the morning, followed by the midodareni (prenuptial ritual) in the evening.

The ijab qabul (Islamic wedding ceremony) will be held on the second day at the palace’s Panepen Mosque. After the ijab qabul, the married couple will head to the Kepatihan in a parade on a horse-drawn royal coach.

The parade — which will feature 12 coaches and 68 horses — offers those not lucky enough to have received an invitation to the wedding a chance to see the happy couple.

The couple, Yudho said, would likely be in the Jongwiyat coach, the Sultan and his wife would take the Wimono Putro coach and Deputy Governor Pakualam IX would be in the Mondrojuwolo coach.

The married couple, escorted by two groups of bregodo (palace troops) — the Prawirotomo and Patangpuluh — will travel from the Keben Keraton. Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and Pakualam IX will start from Pagelaran Keraton and be escorted by four bregodos — the Wirobrojo, Daeng, Ketanggang and Mantrijero.

“One bregodo consists of 60 personnel. Three-hundred-and-sixty soldiers will also escort the entourage,” said Yudho, adding that thousands of abdi dalem (royal servants) and volunteers would be deployed to safeguard the event.

During the parade, Jl. Malioboro will be closed to the public and street vendors will set up along the thoroughfare offering free food and beverages to spectators.

“We have not provided the food. Local Yogyakartans wanted to express their excitement about the wedding by providing free food for all,” Yudho said.

On the final day, the married couple will perform the pamitan ritual, bidding farewell to the sultan and his wife, Sultana Hemas, at the Gedong Jene.

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