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Grebeg Besar ritual marks Surakarta Palace's Day of Sacrifice

Stefanus Ajie

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java  /  Mon, August 12, 2019  /  04:03 pm
  • The ‘gunungan jaler’ and ‘gunungan estri’ offerings are highlights of the Grebeg Besar parade.

    The ‘gunungan jaler’ and ‘gunungan estri’ offerings are highlights of the Grebeg Besar parade. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    The ‘gunungan jaler’ and ‘gunungan estri’ offerings are highlights of the Grebeg Besar parade.

  • The Grebeg Besar ‘gunungan’ food offering arrives at Surakarta Grand Mosque.

    The Grebeg Besar ‘gunungan’ food offering arrives at Surakarta Grand Mosque. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    The Grebeg Besar ‘gunungan’ food offering arrives at Surakarta Grand Mosque.

  • An ‘abdi dalem’ palace employee prepares an offering prior to Grebeg Besar procession.

    An ‘abdi dalem’ palace employee prepares an offering prior to Grebeg Besar procession. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    An ‘abdi dalem’ palace employee prepares an offering prior to Grebeg Besar procession.

  • Surakarta Palace troops accompany the Grebeg Besar parade.

    Surakarta Palace troops accompany the Grebeg Besar parade. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    Surakarta Palace troops accompany the Grebeg Besar parade.

  • Visitors scramble to grab some food of the ‘gunungan estri’.

    Visitors scramble to grab some food of the ‘gunungan estri’. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    Visitors scramble to grab some food of the ‘gunungan estri’.

  • Gamelan musicians participate in the Grebeg Besar parade.

    Gamelan musicians participate in the Grebeg Besar parade. OF JP/Stefanus Ajie

    Gamelan musicians participate in the Grebeg Besar parade.

OF

In celebration of Idul Adha, the Islamic Day of Sacrifice, Surakarta Palace in Central Java conducted the Grebeg Besar ritual with thousands of people crowding its yards.

The ceremony kicked off on Sunday with a parade from the Kori Kamendungan gate through the Siti Hinggil hall and across Alun-alun Utara Square to finally end at the Surakarta Grand Mosque.

The palace’s marching band, troops in traditional uniforms, gamelan musicians, members of the royal family and court employees, popularly called abdi dalem, all joined the procession.

Read also: Malang churches and mosque maintain harmonious ties during Idul Adha

The participants paraded various food offerings, including two gunungan (cone-shaped piles):  gunungan jaler (male gunungan), made of fruit and vegetables, and gunungan estri (female gunungan), made of various traditional processed foods, such as rengginang (sticky rice crackers) and onde-onde ceplus (cracknels with sesame spread).

When the parade arrived at the mosque, the palace’s ulema conducted a mass prayer to express gratitude for all the fortune.

“The ritual symbolizes the unity and harmony between the Palace, ulema and Surakartans,” Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Haryo Dipokusumo of the Surakarta Palace said.

After the prayer, visitors scrambled for pieces of the gunungan. Believers consider success in getting their hands on the gunungan as a symbol of success in life.

Visitors were allowed to take food from the gununang jaler in the yard of the mosque, but to get some of the gunungan estri, they had to wait until it returned to the palace’s yard.

Tourists also joined the melee, apparently aware of its symbolical message of the need to fight for your right. (yun/kes)

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