Nguras Kong Ceremony: Central Java

On the island of Java the culture is steeped in tradition, mysticism and rites. At the Imogiri Cemetery Complex, just outside of Yogyakarta, the Nguras Kong Ceremony is performed.

This is a rites ceremony performed at Imogiri cemetery complex, and it is a tradition of replacing the water in a kong, or jar, at the Kings Cemetery. When the water is replaced, then the old water is given to the people whose beliefs are that the water can provide wellbeing in their lives.

The ceremony is held every Tuesday of Kliwon in the month of Suro. The ceremony starts with replacing the water located in four padasan, or holy water tanks. Interestingly these ‘water tanks’ are from various parts of the world – the padasans are Kyai Mendung, which came from Rome, Nyai Siem from Myanmar, Kyai Danumoyo from Aceh and Nyai Danumurti from Palembang.

Once this ceremony is performed there is a cultural convoy of sorts. In the convoy is located the water equipment used, a siwur, a dipper made of coconut shell, and this is then carried away from the King’s Cemetery Complex at Imogiri. At the conclusion of this ritual there are various traditional arts performances staged.