Ngukup: A Ritual Ceremony Before Playing Ondel-ondel

Who doesn't know about Ondel-ondel from Betawi? In addition to being an icon of Betawi traditional art, especially Jakarta, in ancient times Ondel-ondel was used as a complement in the implementation of traditional ceremonies as gratitude for the success of a great harvest. So that in ancient times, people who played Ondel-ondel were not arbitrary. There is a special ritual before playing Ondel-ondel.

This special ritual is called Ngukup. Ngukup is a ritual of burning incense by ondel-ondel players. In the Ngukup ritual, besides incense there are other offerings consisting of rice, red and white porridge, seven kinds of rujak-rujakan, seven kinds of flowers, bitter coffee, sweet coffee, water, sweet tea, and plain tea.

There is meaning in the equipment. Like rice is the staple food of humans, it’s a wish that humans do not lack rice, round eggs mean our determination or intention must be round (firm and never fade), white water as a source of life, flowers are a symbol to remember good things from ancestors, and bitter sweet coffee means that life has ups and downs. Red and white porridge is a symbol of father and mother which means that humans are expected to remember their origins from God.

In some other areas, the Ngukup ritual is not only to start playing Ondel-ondel. This Ngukup ritual was also part of the rituals of the Betawi people in ancient times, such as sea alms, earth alms, and other rituals.

Bujaka - Aplikasi Budaya Jakarta

Jalan Gatot Subroto Kav. 40-41 Lt. 11 dan 12
Kelurahan Kuningan Timur, Kecamatan Setiabudi
Jakarta Selatan
DKI Jakarta, 12950
(021) 252-3164