Kukuh Sukmana Hasan Surya
On Aug. 30, the Bonokeling tribal community of Pekuncen village in Banyumas, Central Java, celebrated Idul Adha, the Day of Sacrifice.
More than 500 descendants of the Bonokeling, known as anak putu, gathered and collectively cooked a traditional goat goulash dish wrapped in banana and teak leaves called becek.
Idul Adha is a celebration to express gratitude for everything Muslims have enjoyed in life as an endowment bestowed out of God’s compassion toward all beings.
The anak putu males, who were in charge of the cooking, wore black jackets and sarongs with head cloths, while the females wore kebaya (traditional Javanese dress).
Bonokeling community elder Sumitro said the community’s Idul Adha was calculated on the basis of the traditional Alif Rebo Wage (Aboge) calendar. This year is called the Za year, and Idul Adha, locally known as
Bada Perlon, falls on a Thursday in the third week of the Javanese calendar.
Like Idul Adha in general, 16 goats were slaughtered as sacrifices, cooked from sunrise and later distributed along with 90 rice cones and 300 ambengan (side meals such as chicken, tempeh and vegetables).
Besides the sacrificial ritual, the community also conducted a procession and prayers at the cemetery of
Kyai Gunung, located in the sacred complex of Panembahan Bonokeling.
By dusk, rice cones were distributed after prayers were offered. The Idul Adha ceremonies involved 100 people, with 300 to 400 portions of traditional chicken soup cooked in the house yard of the bedogol (the Bonokeling tribal leader).
Sumitro added that before Idul Adha, Bonokeling elders were also fasting and avoiding rice and meat for a week, eating only tubers and boiled vegetables.
“It’s just a practice of austerity to get closer to God. This practice can last for a week, right before Idul Adha,” Sumitro said.