Wayang Jogja Night Carnival: A Festive Performance

Narasinga, the incarnation of the god Vishnu, symbol of god of protection. (photo: IO/Dessy Aipipidely)

IO, Yogyakarta – Wayang Jogja Night Carnival (WJNC) which was held on Sunday night, (7/10) marked the final highlight of the lively 262nd Anniversary (HUT) of Yogyakarta City. This is the third consecutive event, held every calendar year.

Anoman from Umbulharjo district. (photo: IO/Dessy Aipipidely)

The activities routinely held every year since 2016 had been shown in the concept of “street art” with a route from Gondolayu “Three-way Junction” Bridge on Sudirman Avenue, heading to Yogyakarta Monument and finishing on Margo Utomo High Road.

In this year’s implementation, the committee set up three stages along the route. Carnival participants from each district brought different puppet themes, including Kotagede with Rama Sinta, Ngampilan with Bhisma, Mantrijeron with Sugirwo-Subali-Anjani, Gondokusuman with Kresna, Pakualaman with Narasoma, Wirobrajan with Suwida, Gedongtengen with Palguna-Palgunandi, Mergangsan with Kumbokarno, Jetis with Togog-Semar-Bathara Guru, Umbulharjo with Anoman, Danurejan featuring Srikandi, Gondomanan with Kunti, Kraton with Larasati and Tegalrejo in the form of Semar. The number of participants reached 1,400, coming from 14 districts.

The main mascot in this year’s WJNC is Narasinga, representing the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of a lion-headed human with many hands, and a symbol of a protector deity.

Sri Sultan HB X in his speech stated “WJNC is a traditional and modern cultural interaction. This carnival is not only entertainment for the community but also strengthens Yogyakarta as a cultural and tolerant city”.

Kumbokarno from Mergangsan sub district. (photo: IO/Dessy Aipipidely)

The Mayor of Yogyakarta, Haryadi Suyuti, hopes that at the age of 262, the city of Yogyakarta should always pursue betterment. Little older, little wiser. It is hoped that this 262nd-anniversary event could enhance and inspire all community layers to succeed in developing Yogyakarta City over the long run.

Haryadi mentioned that in every anniversary celebration there is always a sense of emotion, pride and hope, as well as challenges and opportunities to make Yogyakarta City a comfortable place through physical and non-physical aspects. He also hopes that this event will increase the popularity of Yogyakarta and its profound culture for a world stage.

Happy 262nd Anniversary, Yogyakarta!

(Dessy Aipipidely)