The Jakarta Post
A mask dance is held to entertain 'mudik' travelers as well as tourists at the Solo Zoo, Surakarta, Central Java. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
A number of cultural events to welcome mudik (exodus) travelers to Surakarta, Central Java, are being held from June 15 to 24.
Named “Bakdan Ning Solo” (Idul Fitri at Solo) and organized by the Surakarta administration, there will be several events held on Sunday. They include the Fresh Keroncong Orchestra that plays Portuguese-tinged pop music at the town hall’s front yard, Sriwedari Human Puppet Troupe and Ramayana dance opera at Vanternburg Fort.
“We provide six big stages for art and cultural performances. Especially for the dance opera, it will be held three days in a row and it’s free of charge,” said Hasta Gunawan, head of Surakarta’s tourism agency, on Wednesday.
From Friday to Sunday, “Bakdan neng Balekambang” (Idul Fitri at Balekambang) offers art performances and culinary events.
At Taman Satwa Taru Jurug, also known as Solo Zoo, a dancing fountain will be the main attraction. Thousands of lanterns in Taman Pelangi, located inside the zoo, will light up the nights.
“The height of Bakdan Ning Solo is Grebeg Syawal at the zoo. Thousands of ketupat (rice cake) will be handed out for free to visitors on Sunday, June 24,” said Hasta. Grebeg Syawal is held in conjunction with Idul Fitri celebrations, when the sultanate hands out gifts in the form of agricultural produce.
Thousands of people eagerly wait to receive 'ketupat' (rice cake) in the Grebeg Syawal ritual at Solo Zoo, Surakarta, Central Java. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
The zoo will also hold the Joko Tingkir marching parade, a tradition upheld since 1976, at which ketupat and apem (traditional rice flour cakes) will be handed out to the public.
At the south side of Fort Vastenburg, Gladag Langen Bogan (Galabo) as a new culinary center was officiated by the Surakarta administration last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Kampoeng Kuliner Lebaran 2018 (Idul Fitri Culinary Kampong) with 96 stands is being held from June 12 to 19 at De Tjolomadoe, Colomadu, Karanganyar.
The former sugar mill built in 1861 was revitalized in early 2017. It is promoted as a new tourist destination in Surakarta.
Hari Prihatno, head of Surakarta’s Transportation Agency, predicted there would be 8 million passing through the town during the holiday, as Surakarta is a mudik as well as tourism destination.
"The new toll road [between Surakarta and Ngawi] will make it easier for people to come to Surakarta,” said Hari. (wng)
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