Last year (I mean in 2008), I went to Jogjakarta at the end of December to watch Sendratari Ramayana with my family and PSTK fellows.
The first thing that came to my mind was the sacred feeling of watching the story of Rama and Shinta in Candi Prambanan--a place in which the story was carved in its old gigantic stones. My friend told me that the show was sometimes held in an open space with the candi as the background but this time, the show was held in the indoor area. I don't know, maybe it's due to the rainy season but I'm pretty sure it would be greater to watch it outdoor as there was a full moon in the dark sky at that date.
Nevertheless, the show itself was astonishing. Some people said that Ramayana is just like Hindi version of Romeo and Juliet. It combined Javanese dance, music, and drama in a 2-hour epic performance. The actors and the actresses were good-looking and they danced like a flowing river. Smooth yet powerful. Not to mention that the accompaniment of gamelan was also great. They didn't use sophisticated effect nor the grand background but the show was still so awesome that I promise myself to watch it again someday. Well, if some of you think that sendratari performance is kinda boring... scratch that... this one is really recommended (and of course affordable)
After watching the sendratari, I decided to go with my friends to alun-alun Jogjakarta while my family left to the hotel. That was my first time celebrating the new year's eve at the heart of Jogjakarta city and I never regret it! The square was packed with people who wanted to share the happiness of new year together and the sky was bluntly painted with fireworks. Laughs were mixed with the sounds of trumpet as well as the blast of fireworks, just like a rock orchestra. The sight of joy were spread across the cultural city. Don't blame me for wishing a boyfriend at that moment since it felt so romantic :p
The next thing we did after that was walking by feet to Mesjid Agung Jogjakarta because we hadn't take a pray yet (a bad start to begin a year huh?). We were sitting there for a moment, absorbing the atmosphere of the old grand mosque and having a nice conversation before we went to Malioboro street by becak. Yeah, it was another memorable experience for me: riding a becak at 2 in the morning then eating gudeg at the lesehan of that famous street.
What can I expect more? Good city, good experiences, good companions... that was the best way to spend your new year's eve!