There are several groups engaged in cultural activities :
WAYANG ORANG (HUMAN WAYANG THEATER) & CLASSICAL DANCE
Located on Jl. Brigjen. Katamso (east of Karaton). Every evening performs wayang Ramayana from 08.00 pm 10.00 pm in its open Theatre.
Dalem Pujokusuman (Mansion)
Located on Jl. Brigjen. Katamso 45, south of Purawisata. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening performs from 08.00 pm 10.00 pm. It is an excellent group of the Royal Family.
See Pamulangan Beksa Sasminta Mardawa
Ambarukmo Palace Hotel
Located on Jl. Solo, west of Adisucipto Airport, every evening performs Ramayana Dance at the restaurant or in the garden.
Arjuna Plaza Hotel
Located on Jl. Mangkubumi, south of Tugu, every Thursday evening performs Ramayana Dance.
Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan Temple
It is a colossal live presentation with the backdrop of the grandiose Prambanan Temple, 15 km east of Yogya. The two-hours ballet is presented alternately in Yogya and Solo dance style by five dance troupes of Wisan Murti, Cahyo Gumelar, Sekarpuri, Guwa Wijaya and Roro Jongrang foundation led by Sri Paku Alam VIII.
Formerly, the performance was organized only for dates under full moon, but now the show is held every evening from the month of May to October. The open area offers the complete ballet, while the closed arena presents different acts only.
The tickets are available at several Travel agencies or could be purchased at the ticket windows just before the show.
Roro Jongrang Foundation provides Yogya Prambanan, a cheap round trip transportation.
Hanoman's Forest Restaurant
Located on Jl. Prawirotaman I. It performs wayang with different stories every evening.
Every Sunday from 10.30 am- noon performs Classical Court Dance.
WAYANG KULIT PERFORMANCE
Performed every Wednesday and Saturday, abbreviated performance from 10.30 am noon
Sasono Hinggil (South Palace Square)
All night performance held at every second Saturday, from 09.00 pm 05.00 am.
Agastya Art Institute
Located at Jl. Gedong Kiwo MD III/237, shorted performance every day except Saturday from 03.00 pm-05.00pm.
Sono Budoyo Museum
A two hours performance held every evening from 08.00 pm-10.00 pm.
Arjuna Plaza Hotel
Located on Jl. Mangkubumi, south of Tugu, has two hours performance on Tuesday at 07.00 pm.
Dalang (Puppet Master)
The famous dalang in Yogya among other; Ki Timbul, Ki Hadisugito, Ki Sugi, etc.
WAYANG GOLEK (WOODEN PUPPET PERFORMANCE)
Located on Jl. KH Ahmad Dahlan 71, west of Central Post Office. Performed daily at 11.00 am to 01.00 pm by Nitour.
Agastya Art Institute
Performs every Saturday at 03.00 pm 05.00 pm on Jl. Gedong Kiwo MD III/237.
Arjuna Plaza Hotel
Performs from 07.00 pm-09.00 pm every Saturday on Jl. Mangkubumi.
Traditional folk drama with stories from history and legend.
Radio Republic Indonesia (R.R.I.)
Performed at its Auditorium on Jl. Gejayan, every first Saturday from 08.00pm-midnight.
GAMELAN JAVANESE ORCHESTRA
Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday is played from 10.30am-noon. The sound of the gamelan and the sacred place of the magnificent Karaton give a deep magical feeling.
Located on Jl. Sultan agung, 2 km east of central Post office, plays gamelan every Sunday Pon (once in 35 days), every Sunday Pahing is training session for gamelan.
Hotels Ambarukmo Palace, Garuda and some other hotels
They have gamelan in their lobbies, and played every day at a certain time.
DANCING PRACTICES (Javanese Court Dance)
Performance (Sunday from 10.30am-noon), practicing (at the same time at 'Ksatrian').
Practice every Monday and Thursday in the afternoon.
Indonesia Institute of Arts (ISI)
Located on Jl. Parangtritis Km. 65, South of Yogya (Daily practicing)
SMKI (High School for Performing Arts)
Located on Jl. Bugisan (Daily practicing)
Padepokan Bagong Kussudiardjo (Choreographer of classical and modern dance)
West of Kasongan, Bantul.
Siswo Among Bekso
- nDalem Kaneman/mansion (Jl. Kadipaten Kidul 44, west of Ngasem/Karaton)
every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
- nDalem Purbayan (Jl. Polowijan, infront of Ngasem Market)
Wednesday & Friday at 07.00-10.0 pm.
Pamulangan Bekso Sasminta Mardawa
Ndalem Pujokusuman, every afternoon, except friday & saturday
SEKATEN and GAREBEG CEREMONY
In the Javanese month of Mulud, on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, the Karaton celebrates it by making several gunungan (rice mountain) paraded from the palace to the Grand Mosque yard, west of North Square. The Karaton sacred gamelan brought to the mosque and played there for a week.
The gunungan and gamelan processions are very colorful and interesting and usually a month fair called Sekaten is held in the north square. The other Garebeg Ceremony is held in the Javanese month of Sawal (after one-month fasting period) and month of Besar (at the day of Sacrifice/Idul Adha).
Garebegs of 1998 are:
- Sawal : October 13, 2007
- Besar : December 20, 2007
- Mulud : March 19, 2008
COMMEMORATION of 1st SURO
In the first of Suro, the first day of Javanese calendar, the Karaton do not make heirlooms procession. A lot of people, on their own wish, walk encircling the Karaton during the night. The places are considered as having magical power such as in Parang Tritis Beach, visited by thousand of peoples for meditation.
The 1st Suro 2008 will be in January 9, but the commemoration is the evening and night of January 8.
The heirlooms cleansing in the palaces start on Thuesday Kliwon, May 5, 1998.
The filling of holy water for the pitchers in Imogiri Royal Cemetery on May 15, 1998
SAPARAN TRADITION in HONOR of KI AGENG WONOLELO
In the Javanese month of Sapar, in the village of Widodomartani, district of Ngemplak, Sleman Regency, north of Yogya, descendants of Ki Ageng Wonolelo, the villagers, joint by thousands of spectators held a ceremony to commemorate him. He was one of the trusted soldiers of Sultan Agung, a distinguished spiritual leader. Several days before, various traditional dances and music performed. On the celebration day, the heirlooms of K.A. Wonolelo and apem cane (round rice cake) and some offerings paraded by his descendants, local religious leaders, beautiful girls and soldiers dressed traditionally from his family house to his graveyard about 1 km away. The apem and offering are fought over by the crowds after the ritual praying.
Those who could get a piece of apem and offering are satisfied as they believe they have got a blessing from K.A. Wonolelo.
Next year ceremony will be in February 2008
In Ambarketawang, Gamping
The location a limestone hill 6 km. westward of the town, in the past, the villagers made their living by digging the limestone. Avoiding trouble in their work, people gives offering in every Javanese month of Sapar. It is started by a folk art festival and traditional procession. In the afternoon a pair of Bekakak, bride and bridegroom dolls made of sticky rice filled with brownish syrup are beheaded.
FESTIVAL KESENIAN YOGYAKARTA
The one-month Yogyakarta Art Festival is held annually. This 2007 festival is organized from June 9 to August 9. All the regencies of the Yogyakarta special region are actively taking part. The atmosphere of celebrations and cultural parties felt anywhere.
The art and cultural society from various segments are extremely busy. The people responds actively. They wish the art festival (this year is the 10th) to be always improving and successful. The program displays traditional art and culture such as gamelan, wayang puppet theater, wayang orang, classical dance, handicraft and painting exhibitions, ketoprak, jatilan (horse made of plaitworks of bamboo with men dance themselves into a trance), Reog (with trance dancers and/or using magical power), and other more modern arts (modern theater, kroncong music, campursari music (combining modern and traditional instruments). There is a grand cultural parade, colorful, extravagant, watched by thousand of spectators, local and foreign.
STUDENTS ART FESTIVAL
The younger generation of Yogyanese, the pupils and university students are actively participating in the art festival to commemorate the National Education Day on May 2, every year. That is a good move to preserve the traditional art and culture which means the process of regeneration is secured.
The are many places for modern entertainment especially in the center of the city, such as cafe, cinemas, karaoke, discotheques, bars, pubs, etc.
The Yogyanese need not to worry for the supply of ready cooked food. Restaurants, stalls, lesehan (dining cross-legged on the mat), food sold by roaming street hawkers are almost everywhere and at anytime available. The favorite specialities are nasi gudeg (rice with jackfruit in coconut milk) and ayam goreng (fried chicken). Some Westerners say that Yogya fried chicken is much more delicious than the 'Colonel's Fried Chicken'. It is boiled in the water of young coconut and then fried deeply - it has heaven taste.
As there are a lot of tourists, local and foreign visiting this town, there are also different kind of cuisine served such as; Padang (West Sumatra) food, Chinese, Japanese, Western, etc.
Jl. Malioboro, after 09.00 pm is a heaven place for lesehan. For budget traveler, the area of Pasar Kembang and Sosrowijayan, south of railway station, off Jl. Malioboro is overrun with cheap restaurants serving Western and Indonesian dishes. The food is good, low prices and friendly atmosphere. The other place is Prawirotaman Area, in the southeast part of the town.
Yogya as a leading tourist city has many hotels to welcome its guests coming from every continents of the world. There are star rated hotels, budget hotels and homestays at traveler's choice. The budget hotels and homestays mostly are located in Pasar Kembang and Sosrowijayan area in the center of the town and Prawirotaman in the southpart of the town. The star rated international class hotels are luxurious but still maintain traditional value.
Hotels on Prawirotaman street
ART SHOPS and CRAFT CENTERS
Yogya is also a center of culture and tradition. A traveler is suggested to see some traditional arts and crafts, such as wayang (leather puppets), gamelan, batik, keris, etc.
The most convenient way for exploring this magnetic city should start from the center, Jl. Malioboro. The activities along the street, crowded with colorful and impressive souvenirs and handicrafts, the noisy sound of bargaining between the sellers and the buyers of various nationalities local and foreign are just like a long international bustling street fair.
The people living here is not just Javanese, but also Indonesian from all parts of the country are attracted by lively artistic and intellectual life. They come here to study or to work. The cosmopolitan air of Yogya grows day by day with the floating inhabitants of foreign tourists and residents.
The people of Yogya are friendly, they welcome visitors enjoying their home country.
Besides the modern means of transportation, the old traditional ones, such as andong (chariots drawn by horses), becak (trishaw peddled by men), sepeda (bikes) are free to move around the town.
There is a harmonious blending between tradition and modernization. A traveler could walk with feeling of relaxation or 'Jalan-jalan' any part of the city. Perhaps, it is influenced by magical power or the hospitality of the people, the preserved culture and tradition, many travelers fall in love with Yogya.
Gamelan music is a part of life necessity. The gamelan players are important to play it skillfully with deep feeling. The gamelan makers are also needed, one of the great maestro of gamelan maker in Yogya is Pak Trimanto from Papringan Village.
Purchase order (purchase or order only for a specific instruments like gong is acceptable.
There is a special beat of music, which is now popular. The instruments are gamelan and Western music instruments played together and played together. The name of this music is Campursari, created by Mr. Manthous, an artist of Gunung Kidul, south of Yogya.
Yogya is well known with its keris collections, old and new makers. For deeper inquiry of keris, the right address is Pametri Wiji (the foundation of keris and spears devotees), JL. Ibu Ruswo No. 45, east of Karaton. Click here for 'Art Shops and Crafts' under section Keris!
Empu (Maestro) Jeno Harumbrojo is the best maker of keris in Yogya, a direct descendant of Empu Supo of Majapahit Kingdom.
There are some spiritual groups locally known as Kebatinan based in Yogya. The paranormals or soothsayers, locally known as Piyayi Sepuh (in higher language) or wong Tuwo ('Old Man' in common language), means wise persons live in the city. Usually they are ready to give spiritual consultation, to name few are :