Yogyakarta is a vibrant city adorned in rich Javanese culture which you can feel around the city. There are many cultural events that the city has to offer as mentioned below.
1. Ramayana Ballet
Ramayana is a love story between Shinta and Rama and their enemy, Rahwana, which you can see at the reliefs of Prambanan Temple. Ramayana Ballet is performed at the temple compound during moonlights with the temple standing at the background. Hundreds of performers are involved in this epic dance and music. It takes about 45 minutes - 1 hour to get to the venue. Because the performance is conducted at the evening during which public transports are limited, you are advised to rent a car, or online based transportation, or you can make enquiries at your hotel.
Ramayana ballet can also be seen at Purawisata at Jl. Brigjen. Katamso in the south part of Yogyakarta. During rainy seasons, the performance will be held indoor.
2. Wayang (Puppet Show)
An ancient form of story-telling, wayang has two main forms, wooden puppet and leather puppet. The master of wayang performance is called dalang, who plays the puppets according to the story, which is accompanied by gamelan traditional music and Javanese songs. The plays present episodes of Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Wayang plays are usually performed at important occasions as birthdays and anniversaries. These performances can be seen at the evening at Museum Sonobudoyo near Keraton Yogyakarta.
Another form of wayang performance is wayang wong (dance-drama), which is played by human actors.
3. Grebeg Sekaten Ceremony
Grebeg is a procession to mark Islamic holidays and is conducted during Islamic Eid holidays and the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. Thousands of people come to the North Square of Kraton Yogyakarta to see this ceremony. The gunungan (mountain-like produce) which symbolises the existence of man and woman is carried by troops who dressed in colourful costumes and accompanied by traditional music played by marching troops. The gunungan of fruit, vegetables, and snacks will later be distributed by Keraton Yogyakarta to society.