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Jakarta Post

Syawalan, a big feast and abundant blessings

Wed, July 5, 2017   /   05:46 pm
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    Sea offering: Locals use a number of boats to join the Lomban procession off Kartini Beach in Jepara, Central Java. Held a week after Idul Fitri, residents joining the procession floated various offerings such as a buffalo head, agricultural produce and ketupat (rice cakes boiled in plaited coconut leaves) to show their gratitude. JP/ Ganug Nugroho Adi

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    Signature dance: A dancer performs the Seblang dance while in a trance as part of an annual ritual in Olehsari village, Banyuwangi, East Java. JP/Aman Rochman

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    Digging in: Residents enjoy ketupat in Kaliwungu district in Kendal, Central Java, during the Syawalan celebration. JP/ Suherdjoko

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    Merry festivity: Hundreds of Kendal residents in Central Java participate in a parade that features three gunungan rice cone offerings to celebrate Syawalan in Kaliwungu. JP/ Suherdjoko

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    Strengthening the bonds: A big family holds a halal bihalal post-Ramadhan gathering near Kauman Mosque in Magelang, Central Java. JP/Syamsul Huda M Suhari

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    Sharing is caring: Dwi Dharmawanti (left) hands a traditional ketupat to her Hindu neighbor, Diana Kristiani (right) during the ketupat festivity in Pesanggrahan village, Banyuwangi. JP/Aman Rochman

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    Piece of cake: Warsini, 61, skillfully plaits coconut leaves that will be used to cook ketupat rice cakes in the traditional Legi Market in Surakarta, Central Java. A package containing 10 ready-to-use plaited coconut leaves costs Rp10.000 to Rp15.000 (about US$1). JP/ Ganug Nugroho Adi

Residents in various cities across Java welcomed Syawal, the first month of the Islamic calendar, by holding various merry festivities over the weekend.
Held about seven days after Idul Fitri, a typical Syawalan celebration would feature a parade of people carrying gunungan in the form of heaped platters of food or ketupat rice cakes neatly arranged to resemble a mountain. The food would be eaten together at the end of the procession.

At home, people would cook ketupat to be served with opor ayam (chicken braised in coconut milk) or lodeh (Javanese vegetable soup in coconut milk). Meanwhile, residents in the coastal area in Jepara celebrated Syawalan by floating agriculture produce and ketupat in the sea as an expression of gratitude and hope for more blessings.