Central Java Culture

Javanese culture priorities the balance and harmony in everyday life. Javanese communit...


Central Java Culture

If you want to witness the glory of heritage and tradition of ancient Javanese kingdom, came to Central Java. In an area of 32,548 square kilometers of the province's many historic relics found ranging from pre-colonial times, before the advent of the Europeans, to the spread of Islam through northern coastal areas. Central Java has visited foreign sailors since the 7th century with a proven record of the journey of a Chinese monk, Hui-neng.

Afterwards, Hinduism and Buddhism "compete" to begin the Javanese civilization. They left a magnificent legacy of Prambanan and Borobudur Temple which are now located near the entrance and part the province of Yogyakarta Special Region. Other relics of the temple can be found for example in the Dieng plateau. There is also a temple complex of Cheto temple and Sukuh temple at around Mount Lawu from the era of kingdom of Majapahit at 15th century or 16th.

prambanan temple

Prambanan temple built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. Rising above the centre of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them. This temple is located 17 km from the Yogyakarta city center, among an area that now functions as beautiful park.

borobudur temple

Borobudur temple, a Buddhist stupa in the Mahayana tradition, is the largest Buddhist monument in the world and considered as one of the seven wonders of the world. Located on 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta city, South of Magelang, Central Java.

sukuh cheto temple

Lingga Yoni, interesting and controversial artistic relief on Cheto temple floor, which depict male and female organs symbolizing the birth of life. Cheto Temple is a Hindu temple complex somewhat different from other Hindu temples, located about 5 km north and 500 m above Sukuh Temple. The layout of temple is similar to Sukuh except that it comprises many more terraces. It is located in Berjo Village, Argoyoso district, in the slope of mount Lawu 35 km east of Solo city.

dieng temple

Dieng temple is a group of temples located on Dieng Plateau in Wonosobo, Central Java. The vicinity is 2000 meters above sea level, extending around 1900 meters long and 800 meters wide from north to south. Temples in this group are categorized in three compounds and one individual temple named after characters (wayang) from the Mahabharata. The three compounds are Arjuna, Gatutkaca, and Dwarawati, while the individual temple is Bima.

In the early 16th century, Islam began to spread through the Demak, the town in the northern coast of the island of Java. Religion was spread through trading activities. Apart from India, Arab, and Chinese, European traders helped to enliven trade in the region in line with the establishment of the Dutch East India Company. In the 17th century, the Sultanate of Mataram emerge and able to conquer almost all of Java and start to threaten the influence of Dutch colonialism. This dispute then concluded with Giyanti Agreement that divides the dominion of Mataram into two.

Javanese culture prioritizes the balance and harmony in everyday life. Javanese community is mostly Muslim but is still practice the customs and traditions of their ancestors. There are also groups of people who are still practicing the ancestral religion, commonly called Kejawen. This cultural mix can be found such as the Sekaten ceremony to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW or the tradition of welcoming the Islamic New Year.

Another traditional ceremony known as "selamatan"; is an expression of gratitude for the birth and development of the child. Javanese have their own calendar system so the ceremony was held in line with the "good days" based on a guideline from Javanese horoscope named “Primbon”. Ketoprak is a known stage arts among people in Central Java, tells about the ins and outs of life in the royal courts (Keraton). Peacock Dance, Srimpi, Gambyong, Bondan Umbrella, Swan is a traditional dance from Central Java.

Javanese language is still frequently practiced in this province, as well as in the provinces of Yogyakarta and East Java. Due to the Javanese as the majority in Indonesia, Javanese also spread to other areas, such as in some areas of Sumatra, East Kalimantan, even reaching Suriname in South America. Javanese in Suriname is the result of the Dutch Colonial government's migration policy in the late 19th century and early 20th century.


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