Javanese lunar new year

Today (15 November 2012) is the first day of the year in Javanese calendar (1 Sura 1946), which is more or less similar with Islamic calendar (1 Muharram 1434). In Yogyakarta, there is a ritual to commemorate Javanese new year, that is to walk encircling the Sultan’s palace wall in silence right at midnight.

I first photographed the event maybe six years ago. I remember at that time there were no offerings as I saw last night; there were only people walking in silence. I have no idea since when they incorporate two gunungan (mount-shaped offerings) in the procession.

A food seller serves fried noodle as people gather in front of the Sultan's palace around midnight to celebrate Javanese lunar new year. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A food seller serves fried noodle as people gather in front of the Sultan’s palace around midnight to celebrate Javanese lunar new year. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Men and women, young and old, walk in silence encircling the Sultan's palace wall starting from the palace front gate at the north square. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Men and women, young and old, walk in silence encircling the Sultan’s palace wall starting from the palace front gate at the north square. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Locals watch the procession as they prepare their own event. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Locals watch the procession as they prepare their own event. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A group of women carry banners as they walk in silence encircling the Sultan's palace wall celebrating Javanese lunar new year. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A group of women carry banners as they walk in silence encircling the Sultan’s palace wall celebrating Javanese lunar new year. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Kids fall asleep in front of their house while waiting for the procession. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Kids fall asleep in front of their house while waiting for the procession. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

An elder sits in the dark while watching the procession passes. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

An elder sits in the dark while watching the procession passes. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A group of locals watch the procession passes from sidewalk. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A group of locals watch the procession passes from sidewalk. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A man dressed in white robe walks in front of a group of women in Javanese dress carrying banners, as part of the Javanese lunar new year procession. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A man dressed in white robe walks in front of a group of women in Javanese dress carrying banners, as part of the Javanese lunar new year procession. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A man stands on the second floor of an empty building watching the procession passes by. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

A man stands on the second floor of an empty building watching the procession passes by. Yogyakarta, 15 November 2012. Photo: Budi N.D. Dharmawan

Happy new year, Javanese friends! ∎

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