Jan 202012
 

Sacred animals: A herd of albino buffalos, Kyai Slamet, from the Kasunanan Surakarta Palace parades on the eve of 1 Sura in Surakarta, Central Java, on Nov. 26. JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi

For the people of Surakarta and its surrounding Central Java towns like Karanganyar, Sragen, Boyolali, Klaten, Sukoharjo and Wonogiri, the appearance of albino buffalos called Kyai Slamet is synonymous with the ritual to mark the eve of 1 Sura, the new year in the Javanese calendar.

The herd of white buffalos, considered sacred by some in the local community, emerged from the palace of Kasunanan Surakarta on Nov. 26, the eve of 1 Sura, to spearhead a procession of palace heirlooms.

Thousands of people had crowded around the Surakarta court and lined the routes where the eagerly awaited traditional parade would pass by at midnight. Continue reading »