The city of Surakarta, or popularly called Solo in Central Java, is widely known for its culture and as the seat of Batik, where its inhabitants are proud oftheir long Javanese tradition. Therefore, a visit to this city is an opportunity for you to engage with the people and take in the sights and sounds of the prevailing ancient Javanese culture. During 2015, already over 50 events have already been held here. And, if by now you still have not had the chance to enjoy Solo, this month should be the best moment to do so. There are a number of festivities in Solo that you can attend, namely:
Grebeg Maulud – 24 December 2015
Grebeg Maulud is an event to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, which is also known as ‘Maulid Nabi Muhammad’. The event will take place at the Keraton of the Sunan of Solo. This year, Grebeg Maulud will include 10 members of the Bregada Wirobrojo (palace soldiers) who will escort the seven giant tumpeng or rice mountains to the Gedhe Kauman Mosque. Tumpeng is a yellow rice cone, which in its normal version is served with other traditional side dishes that include fried chicken, beef, eggs, long beans and other green vegetables. Whereas, in this particular procession, the seven giant Tumpeng symbolize a gift from the Sultan to the people.
Although Indonesia is a Republic, nevertheless, traditional royalties continue to be respected as bearers of culture, although with no political powers.
Each year, inhabitants of Solo celebrate three kinds of Grebeg events; which are Grebeg Syawal, Grebeg Maulud, and Grebeg Besar, that are linked to the Moslem calendar. Grebeg Syawal is a thanksgiving expressed by the Sultan after the fasting month. While, Grebeg Besar celebrates Eid al-Adha.
Sekaten Solo – 24 December 2015
The Solo Sekaten is organized to enhance Grebeg Maulud celebrations. This will also take place at the Kasunanan Solo Palace and will commence with agrand parade involving the Sunan of Solo and the royal family. At this event, you will find cultural performances, religious and business tourism activities, and other exhibitions.
Sekaten Solo is not only celebrated by the people of Solo itself but also by those from nearby districts, such as from Sragen, Boyolali, Karanganyar, and Sukoharjo. The event is expected to attract over 400 visitors.
The Ramayana Dance Performance – 25 December 2015
The Ramayana dance performance is staged each full moon at the Balekambang Garden, an open space in Solo. This time, the Ramayana dance takes the episode called ‘Sinta Obong’ or the 'Burning of Sinta', evidence of Sinta's undivided loyalty to her husband, Prince Rama.
Car Free Night – 31 December 2015
For the upcoming New Year’s Eve, the Solo city government has decided to make it a Car Free Night, closing off a number of Solo’s main roads. On New Year's Eve, performing stages will be set up along the main roads, for traditional dances, music, and Wayang puppet-shows so crowds can enjoy each show while strolling or riding a bike.
The car free night will start from 08.0 pm to 01.0 am starting from the Slamet Riyadi road to Gladag and from the Jenderal Sudirman road to the CityHall. (Indonesia.travel)