On Saturday evening June 25th 2011, the main street of Solo in Central Java turned into a massive Runway as the 4th edition of Solo Batik Carnival was staged before enthusiastic spectators. Presenting “The Amazing Legend” as its main theme, the carnival left thousands thrilled as the parade passed by showing a large variety of the most extravagant batik fashions.
Crowds cramped the sidewalks along the 3,7 Km Slamet Riyadi Street long before the parade started. Anticipation rose further an hour before the carnival was due to commence, as crowds filled not only the sidewalks but spilled over to the main street. Officers in charge and the police were kept busy clearing the street and managing the highly enthusiastic multitude.
At exactly 19.30 Western Indonesia Time, the carnival began its fantastic parade starting from the Purwosari Street. Thundering applause and roaring oohs and aahs broke from the special viewing stages and the sidewalk of the Slamet Riyadi Street as the parade passed. The colorful batik fashions and attractive choreography simply hypnotized the viewers who seemed to be absorbed into the Javanese legends presented.
Through the various colors, motives and style, the carnival highlighted four of the most renowned Javanese folk-legends: the Andhe-andhe lumut, Ratu Kencana Wungu , Ratu Laut Selatan (The tale of the Queen of the South Seas), and the romantic tale of Roro Jongrang that led to the creation of the Prambanan Temple. The event was also highlighted by the appearance of four winners of the Miss Indonesia beauty pageant : Nadine Alexandra Dewi , Inda Adeliani , Alessandra K Usman , and Reisa Kartikasari.
The event was also attended by the Mayor of Solo, Joko Widodo (also known as Jokowi), and vice Mayor Hadi Rudyatmo, who both followed the parade on foot from the start to the finish-line at the Solo City Hall, wearing distinguished costumes normally worn only by the nobility.
As a tradition that has flourished for many generations, the art of Batik is inseparable from Javanese culture. Symbolizing gracefulness and precision in its creation, the intricate fabric of Batik itself is the epitome of Javanese elegance, balance and philosophy.
And as the seat of Javanese culture and tradition, the city of Solo possesses some of the best examples of Batik Keraton or Royal Batik, an artistic tradition that has been passed down since the ancient Javanese kingdoms. Its close proximity to Yogyakarta and world heritage sites such as the Borobudur and Prambanan Temples has made Solo the perfect location to celebrate the everlasting Javanese creative tradition of Batik.
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