The Jakarta Post
Thousands of people from Surakarta, Central Java, and neighboring areas such as Sragen, Karanganyar, Boyolali, Klaten, Sukoharjo and Wonogiri, flocked to the Pura Mangkunegaran principality compound to celebrate the eve of Javanese New Year, or the first day of Sura, the first month of the Javanese calendar, on Wednesday evening.
Javanese New Year falls on the same day as Islamic New Year, the first day of the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.
Just as last year, Surakarta's Mangkunegaran principality celebrated Javanese New Year one day ahead of the Kasunanan Surakarta Palace, which will celebrate it on Thursday.
Read also: Islamic New Year is celebrated nationwide
The parade kicked off at 7 p.m. Six royal servants carried six sacred spears, and four other royal servants carried a loji construction on a palanquin containing kris and bullet-proof vests that are legacies of the founder of Mangkunegaran Palace.
According to Mas Ngabehi Wadono Joko Pramudyo, a member of the parade’s committee, the event was held according to the national calendar, “because the 1st of Sura celebration does not just belong to the palace but also to the public.”
Surakarta royal servants carry a loji construction on a palanquin during the "Sacred Parade" to celebrate the eve of Javanese New Year or the 1st of Sura at the Pura Mangkunegaran principality compound in Surakarta, Central Java, on Wednesday. The parade is also to celebrate the Islamic New Year which falls on the same day as Javanese New Year. (The Jakarta Post/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
The parade’s participants walked around the compound’s 3-kilometer perimeter, led by GPH Bhre Cakrahutama Wira Sudjiwo, the son of Mangkunagoro IX.
Also seen among the participants were Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, Maritime and Fishery Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, as well as Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo.
“This kind of traditional event is also good for tourism. I believe Surakarta will be a great cultural heritage city,” Tjahjo said. (bbs)