Honored guests in their pyjamas

Traditional Javanese mask
Solo is a place where people like to celebrate. Most of the time festivities are traditional ceremonies with very strict rules, but that doesn't mean that people look sad or serious. Usually Indonesians make a very happy impression, but they rather stay calm and express that only with a beautiful smile. During festivals or happy ceremonies though it gets loud and colorful.

When our host mom told us that we should quickly have a look outside because something would be going on, we had no clue what we would get into. So we just stepped outside, in our pajamas and fully unprepared for the huge spectacle.

Fresh vegetables from the neighborhood
First, we saw pretty girls getting dressed around the gate of our home. With every step further into the street we discovered new costumes and uniforms. Generals, mysterious fighters, bird breeders, vegetable farmers, it seemed like every traditional profession gathered in a group.

While we walked along our street, more and more people gathered in the hot afternoon sun. They all looked at us as curiously as we looked at them, and we smiled at each other. As we were the only foreigners living in the area, everyone seemed to know us. And we discovered familiar faces too: neighbors, the lady who always sold us our favorite cigarettes, the one who makes delicious fruit shakes, my hairdresser... It felt somehow as if we lived there for a long time already, but we still discovered a lot of new things and met new people.

Every girl wants to be a princess, no?
When we seeked shelter in the shade of a tribune, the people sitting there immediately started discussing something. Suddenly, a man in traditional clothing who looked important came over and invited us to have a seat. First, we refused, as we really planned to only have a quick look and then go home. But we had no chance. After we agreed on quickly sitting there, more and more people wearing the whole traditional “costume” came to sit with us, and we got distributed a lunch package as well as the information that the head of the village would arrive soon.

VIP transport
Suddenly, we were part of the official greeting committee, firstly for the head of the village, then, together with him, for the entire carnival parade. People came to take pictures with us, all impressed by how tall Fabian is and how beautiful I am. Not that I felt anything like that in Pjs and flip-flops, but they didn't care. When the head of the village arrived he spoke to us in English and was thanking us very much that we could come to the parade and that it was an honor to have us there.

On one hand, I had to smile because that was definitely not what we expected when we wanted to have a quick look out the door. On the other hand, that was not the first time something like this happened, and we really enjoyed the whole ceremony. It was an honor for us to be there actually. Plenty of pictures can give you an idea what we saw from our first row seats.

Huge and colorful birds

Female fighters?

Chinese inspired

We don't really know what they represent,
but their costumes look pretty
A real man must own a bird

Javanese dancers


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