Popokan Tradition in Semarang City, Central Java Province

It would be a waste if tourists don’t explore local villages when spending a vacation in Semarang City. It is because many interesting local traditions are available to see in those places. Here is the example. The name is Popokan Tradition and it has become a signature culture of Sendang Village located in Bringin Sub-District. So, what is it? This event makes the locals work together to clean the environment and conduct several fun activities especially the mud war. They also eat together and perform several attractions including Noknik, Jatilan, and Reog. For the information, it is done once every year on August (especially in Friday “Kliwon”).

The Nuance
When it comes to nuance, Popokan offers various emotions especially cheerfulness and serenity. The best part is when people gather at a local farm and conduct a mud war. That means they might attack each other using mud and wrestle around happily. As for the serenity, it happens when they carry some foods for eating together. Do not forget the presence of many interesting arts performances done by some villagers. What a complete event! The good thing is tourists are allowed to watch and even join it freely!

More about Popokan Tradition
The fact is people in Semarang have conducted Popokan Tradition for generations and they even promote it to outsiders. According to the locals, the tradition is as old as Sendang Village itself. That means it has been the part of the region and has attracted lots of tourists over time. For first-timers, though, they need to hire a local guide who can explain the entire procession and guide them during the event. The most important thing is related to the schedule. Tourists should only come during the exact time of the event, after all.

At the beginning of the procession, the locals may clean the environment thoroughly. As mentioned before, the event is conducted on Friday. After cleaning, those people would pray together at the mosque to perform “Jumatan”. After praying, they gather to Rumah Bayan by carrying some foods. At the location, there is a procession called Selamatan. The purpose is to look for a blessing from the God before continuing the procession.

The next ritual is to get to the border of the village to perform “Arak-Arakan”. At the time, the locals may perform several art performances especially Jatilan and Reog. Another signature performance is called Noknik which is also called Wayang Orang. Soon after, these people gather at local farms and enjoy the mud war (which is the prime attraction).

Nearby Attractions

  • Simpang Lima Square
  • Lawang Semu
  • Tugu Muda
  • Brown Canyon
  • Kasmaran Park

How to Get There
If tourists come from Jakarta City, they can either take a land transportation service or airplane to get to Semarang City. The second option is considered the fastest, though. From Soekarno – Hatta Airport, it only takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to get to Ahmad Yani International Airport at Semarang. From the airport, tourists can directly head to Sendang Village where Popokan Tradition is usually done.

Where to Stay

  • City One Hotel
  • Griya Rambutan
  • Peterongan Residence
  • New Metro Hotel
  • Dafam Hotel
  • Ibis Hotel

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