The Eve of 1 Suro (Kirab malam 1 Suro) in Solo

kirab-suro-2008-1.jpgAround the world, the turn of the year is usually celebrated with fireworks, carnivals, drums, trumpets and cheerful parties. Not so for the Javanese, where the turn of the year is a time for introspection filled with sacred rituals.The Eve of the Islamic New Year, which in Javanese is called "Suro" is counted from the time when the sun sets on the last day of the last month in the Javanese calendar (30/29 Besar) until the sun rises the next day of the new year.

The Eve of 1 Suro rituals which this year falls on 8 December 2010,  will take place at both the palaces of Solo, – the Keraton Kasunanan and Pura Mangkunegaran. . At the Palace of Mangkunegara will be the Jamasan, the ritual of cleansing and purifying the royal heirlooms, after which these will be taken out and carried around the Palace. At the  Keraton Kasunanan the parade of Heirlooms  is headed by a group of albino buffaloes known as Kebo Bule which will be the Cucuk Lampah (or starter of the parade).

The parade will commence from the Palace  of the Sunan of Solo (Keraton Kasunanan) in a clockwise direction across the alun-alun utara (northern square), Jalan Sudirman, Jalan Major Kusmanto, Kapten Mulyadi Street, Veteran Street , Slamet Riyadi Street, then back to alun-alun utara  and finally into the Palace. During this procession, Sunan Pakubuwono XIII, will remain and chant prayers inside the Palace.

Thousands of Solo citizens will flock to the area to watch as well as to receive blessings from the processions. For, to the Javanese, the turn of the year is not merely a physical occasion, but it is a spiritual time of change. They believe that the parade of Heirlooms and Kebo Bule will lead them to a new and better chapter in life. This is a tradition that the Javanese have preserved and handed down through generations. This is also a good chance for you to experience the cultural traditions of the Javanese.

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