5 Interesting Things You Should Know About Khitanan Tradition in Java

One phase that must be done by mostly boys in Indonesia is khitanan, especially for the moslem boys. Khitanan is not only a religious command, but also has cultural tradition that varies in many region in Indonesia. The khitanan tradition also was applied in Java, as one of the most population in the country. Here are 5 interesting things you should know about khitanan tradition in Java:

1. The Purpose of Khitanan

The first interesting thing you should know about khitanan is the purpose of khitanan itself. Just as mentioned before, khitanan is a guidance in Islamic religion that must be done for the boys at the adolescent age. Usually, boys who already 8 years old are starting to do khitanan process. So if they’re still not do khitanan until certain age, their friends will make fun of them.

Khitanan is like a door into adolescent and adult phase, whereas the boys are obligated to carry out Islamic guidances well. The purpose of khitanan is to clean the vital organs of the boys so it won’t get in the way of their praying. In Islamic religion, the cleanliness is indeed an important thing especially for their praying. So for the boys to do the praying just and right, they must do khitanan process on the determined age.

2. Supitan Ceremony

In Indonesia, khitanan became more than religion aspect but also a cultural tradition that passed down from their ancestors. That’s also applied in Java, whereas khitanan process has special ceremony called Supitan ceremony. Supitan ceremony is also known as ngislamake, that means an official ceremony for entering Islamic religion and becoming a real moslem men.

This Supitan ceremony is actually a form of praying and begging to God in order to khitanan process to going well. It’s because usually the boys who done khitanan will feel the pain, especially long time ago when the technology was not as advanced as how it is now. So people back then do the Supitan ceremony as the praying for the boy so that he will recover soon and can do his normal activities again.

3. Malem Pegasan

The next one of 5 interesting things you should know about khitanan tradition in Java is Malem Pegasan, the night of khitanan process. Khitanan was done in a room that attended by the boy’s parents as well as his close family. The boy will sit on his parent’s lap, then the doctor or khitanan expert will do the khitanan process.

After that, the boy will drink some herb that contains gelangal, sour turmeric, sweet turmeric, coriander, and pulowaras fennel. This herb was mixed and munched in raw condition so that the efficacy will do better and the boy will recover soon. Then the boy need to press a raw egg as the next step in the ritual on Malem Pegasan. If the rituals done, the boy will be bathed and wear traditional Javanese clothes.

4. Ewuh Celebration

The ceremony is not complete without celebration, and it’s what happening on khitanan tradition in Java. The celebration after khitanan or Supitan ceremony is known as Ewuh celebration, also known as Hajatan Ewuh in Javanese language. In Ewuh celebration, the parents of the boy who does khitanan will invite their big family and people around their neighborhood.

Just like other celebration, in Ewuh celebration is also has many kind of food especially traditional foods of Java. You can find cone rice, various vegetables, fruits, sweets, crackers, traditional snacks, and many more. The celebration usually lasts for several days, about 4 – 5 days; depends on the invitation number or circumtances of the family.

5. Traditional Art Shows

Celebration in traditional culture is not complete without traditional art shows, so is the ceremony of khitanan tradition in Java. In the ceremony, especially after khitanan process was done; people in Java usually hold many traditional art shows. You will find the traditional art shows like puppet show, leathered horse or kuda lumping, bantengan show, and many more on the ceremony of khitanan tradition in Java.

This traditional art shows is indeed mean to console and cheer up the boy who done khitanan, but also an entertainment for people around him. It’s not surprising that the residents in the neighborhood are enjoying the shows and ceremony too, even the non-moslem residents. This khitanan tradition is not only tradition and celebration for moslems, but also for Javanese people in general. Many non-moslem people in Java is also do khitanan for their boys and do the ceremony as well as the celebration together.

Those are 5 interesting things you should know about khitanan tradition in Java. Hope this information is helpful!