Saparan Bekakak: Sultan Tricked The Spirit
The ritual of Saparan Bekakak is an annual cultural event celebrated in Yogyakarta. The ritual is held every Syafar or Sapar month in Javanese calendar. It has been done for many years since the reign of the first Sultan. This year is held on Friday (5/11).
Legend has it that the story behind Saparan Bekakak is closely related to the Royal Palace. Ambarketawang used to be where the Palace stands. When Sultan Hamengkubuwono moved to the new palace, his servant, Ki Wirosuto, did not join him. He chose to stay in Mount Gamping. Ki Wirosuto and the locals tried to dig the Gamping limestone. The limestone was used for the construction of the new Palace.
However, the dug caused many victims including Ki Wirosuto. In reaction, the Sultan tried to find out why. He meditated at Mount Gamping and finally found out that the spirit of Mount Gamping who killed the people. The spirit asked Sultan to give a pair of bride and groom to be sacrificed every year.
However, Sultan was cleverer. He tricked the spirit by giving him pair of doll made from rice flour and palm sugar. Since then, the ritual became a routine event done by the people who live in Gamping.
Saparan Bekakak ritual is celebrated annually in Ambarketawang village, Gamping sub district, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta. [rovitavare/jogjatoday]
photo by rovitavare for jogjatoday.com