About Grebeg And Gunungan

Friday, October 26, 2012, the Muslims around the world will commemorate the Eid al-Adha. I am a Catholic and I don’t know anything about that. So why I mentioned? Because every Eid-ul-Adha, the Sultanate of Yogyakarta always hold a procession named Grebeg Besar.

Grebeg is a traditional ceremony as a symbol of the king’s generosity to his people. The king is described as a nurturing figure and fulfills the food needs of his people. This tradition has been carried out since the reign of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the first king of the Yogyakarta Sultanate. Grebeg ceremony was held three times a year; those are Grebeg Shawwal as a form of gratitude after exceeding the fasting month. Grebeg Maulud held to celebrate and commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad. While Grebeg Besar is organized to celebrate the Eid al-Adha.

Grebeg ceremony identical to the Gunungan, that is variety of food and agricultural products are arranged to resemble a mountain. It is as a symbol of prosperity the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, which will be distributed to the people. In Grebeg ceremony, there are six types of Gunungan, each has a different shape and consists of different types of food.

Gunungan Dharat is a Gunungan that there is a big cake on its peak and surrounded by the tongue-shaped sticky rice cake. Gunungan Gepak is a Gunungan that comprising forty fruit baskets filled with a variety of small cakes with five colors, namely red, blue, yellow, green, and black. Gunungan Bromo  is made up of diverse pastries, and there is a big hole at the top, so it seems as a brazier. Gunungan Lanang consists of a series of long beans, chili, duck eggs, and sticky rice. There is a rice flour cake at the top of it. Gunungan Wadon is a Gunungan that was composed of diverse small cakes and sticky rice cakes.  Gunungan Pawuhan is a gunungan that looks like the Gunungan Wadon, but driven into a small white flag at the peak.

In the morning, the Grebeg ceremony begins with a parade of traditional soldiers. The soldiers guard the Gunungan were carried from the Yogyakarta Palace towards the Great Mosque, Kepatihan, and Puro Pakualaman. At those places, the Gunungan are distributed to the people. But, usually the people are competing to get a small parts of the Gunungan. They are willing to crammed even trampled or fall as they do not care as long as they get a portion of the Gunungan. Most of them believe that the trinkets of the Gunungan will give a blessing to them.

Grebeg ceremony is not only a symbol of the king’s generosity, but also as a form of continuing the tradition and keep the cultural richness, and of course as a tourism asset.

The following photos were took at the previous Grebeg ceremony. Maybe I’ve ever published some of them. Hope it will not be a big deal. Wish you enjoy the pictures..

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34 comments

      1. hehehe.. saya mah cuma mengemukakan pendapat sayah saja… but dari sisi manapun foto2nya teteeeep kereeen 🙂

        Nambah pengetahuan juga, meski mesti banyak buka kamus 😀

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  1. What an excellent post filled with interesting cultural information and rich photos giving us an idea what this celebration is like. I have never seen anything like it eventhough I grew up in next door Malaysia! Thank you! Sharon

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      1. Thank you for the lovely invitation! I hope I will one day visit your beautiful homeland with my family! The last time I was in Indonesia was 20 years ago in Medan. We listen to a lot of Indonesian songs (Maria Shandi and Samson!) and our favourite movie of all times is Laskar Pelangi!!! Have a lovely day! Sharon

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  2. udahlah gue bingung mau komen apa masa tiap hari gue cuma komen keren bagus keren bagus doang hahahahaha abis ga ngerti lagi bijimana cara berekspresi ngeliat poto poto lo. bagus! *tuh kan bagus lagi* yayaya great!

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  3. Pingback: Gunungan | Sigoese

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