The Kraton in Yogyakarta will be closed on 17th and 18th October 2017, due to a ceremony known as “siraman pusaka”, in which the many antiques, heirlooms and artefacts of the building are cleaned.
The Kraton, also known as Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Kraton, is home to many historical items with spiritual and sentimental significance to the people of Java and the sultanate of Yogya in particular. Items on display include weapons such as spears and ceremonial keris daggers, along with ceremonial Javanese regalia, banners, gamelan instruments and transportation. The heirlooms – referred to as Kagungan Dalem – usually have names, and are believed to have magical powers. The annual event of cleaning and caring for them therefore takes on a ceremonial significance that has to be observed and respected.
The heritage objects are cleaned intensively once a year, usually in the month of Sura in the Javanese calendar. The traditional cleaning ceremony is known as Siraman Pusaka. The word ‘siraman’ comes from the word bathe. During this time, the Kraton closes to the public For two days, whilst approximately 200 artefacts and heirlooms of the Kraton palace are cleaned in the ceremony. Some objects are so sacred to the heritage of Java, that only the sultan himself is permitted to clean them.