Grebeg Sudiro: Chinese New Year Celebration in Solo city

Chinese-Javanese communities in the royal town of Solo, otherwise known as Surakarta, celebrate the Chinese New Year (Imlek) together with all the Grebeg Sudiro carnival. It is usually focused around Pasar Gede.

The Philosophy

The Term grebeg is a Javanese term for a traditional celebration. The balance between Javanese and Chinese culture is reflected throughout the Grebeg Sudiro carnival. The grebeg revolves around a mountain-shaped pile of offerings called Gunungan which comprising of basket cakes (Kue Keranjang), fruits and vegetables. The Gunungan will be paraded around Pasar Gede before being swarmed by the audiences in a matter of minutes. The crowds are invited to get the offerings because it paves the Javanese doctrine of "ora babah ora mamah," which means"you have to earn what you consume." The offerings also symbolize gratitude to God Almighty.

The Grebeg Sudiro mountain-shaped offerings, known as gunungan, is constructed of tens of thousands of Chinese sweet cakes called Kue keranjang. The cakes are made especially for the Lunar New Year only. In the close of the parade, a sizable teapot-shaped lantern on the gate of Pasar Gede is lit and then followed by light up of different lanterns decorating the marketplace.

Social and Cultural Relationship

The Greek Sudiro Indicates the Harmonious relationship between the Chinese and Javanese communities that live within one area, respecting one another's heritage and lifestyle. When preparing for Grebeg Sudiro, both cultural groups help one another in the making for the ritual to thank God and the universe for the blessings and bounties granted to them.

The Sudiroprajan place is part of The Hebrew sub-district from the town of Solo, Central Java. The Chinese have Stayed here for generations and lived harmoniously together with the Javanese. Through Years of inter-marriages and acculturation, new generations of mixed marriages, Called Peranakan, made this unifying tradition.


Keyword: celebrate the Chinese New Year (Imlek) together with all the Grebeg Sudiro carnival