Up for grabs for good for­tune

The Jakarta Post - JPlus - - Between The Lines - WORDS & PHOTOS DHONI SETIAWAN

The cel­e­bra­tion of Idul Fitri in Yo­gyakarta is not lim­ited to fam­ily gath­er­ings with ex­pres­sions of seek­ing and grant­ing for­give­ness for past wrong­do­ing. The post-fast­ing month hol­i­day is cel­e­brated by all lev­els of so­ci­ety, from lo­cals to tourists, in the

Gre­beg Syawal tra­di­tional cer­e­mony. The cer­e­mony is held to greet 1 Syawal, the Is­lamic New Year, and fea­tures the pre­sen­ta­tion of seven gu­nun­gan moun­tain-shaped of­fer­ings of agri­cul­tural pro­duce to the peo­ple.

The moun­tains, sym­bol­iz­ing a char­i­ta­ble act of the sul­tan for the peo­ple, are pa­raded by mem­bers of the court, who are flanked by sol­diers from Ngayo­gyakarta Ha­din­ingrat Palace, to the north­ern area of the palace square, home to the Great Mosque, Pakuala­man Palace and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment com­plex. After they are pre­sented, mem­bers of the pub­lic, who have been wait­ing since the morn­ing in swel­ter­ing tem­per­a­tures, do their ut­most to grab part of the of­fer­ings.

They be­lieve that the of­fer­ings will bring them boun­ti­ful bless­ings from the Almighty.

The col­or­ful tra­di­tional cer­e­mony, held this year for 1 Syawal 1437 on July 7, has be­come one of the at­trac­tions of the sul­tan’s palace in not only per­form­ing its royal func­tions, but also its re­li­gious and cul­tural roles.

IN THE SPIRIT: Wirabraja palace guards try to stay cool in the heat ( photos from top counter-clock­wise). The Patang­pu­luh brigade awaits the start of the cer­e­mony. Palace ser­vants carry the of­fer­ings, be­fore mem­bers of the pub­lic vie to grab them. A guard rests at the end of the cer­e­mony.

ON WITH THE PRO­CEED­INGS: Mem­bers of the pub­lic gather in the palace court­yard for the cer­e­mony ( photos left to right). A guard is helped after fall­ing down dur­ing the pro­ces­sion. An el­derly woman col­lects the scat­tered re­mains of the of­fer­ings.

RE­MAINS OF THE DAY: A woman hap­pily car­ries home her “bless­ings” ( photo left). Palace ser­vants sit to­gether after com­plet­ing their tasks for the cer­e­mony ( photo right).

ALL DONE: Guards re­turn their arms after the cer­e­mony ( photo above). The tra­di­tional event also at­tracts for­eign vis­i­tors ( photo left).

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