Big Picture

Give and take at Java fest

Every year, on the 14th day of the Kasada month in the traditional Hindu calendar, the Tenggerese people in Probolinggo, East Java, climb up to the crater of the 2,329m-high Mount Bromo for the Kasada Festival.

At the end of the ardous climb up the active volcano, the villagers stand at the edge of the 16km-wide caldera and throw offerings into the crater.

The offerings, which include fruit, livestock, vegetables, flowers and even money, are in gratitude to the gods for abundance of their livestock and a good harvest.

Standing on the edge of the caldera, with hand-held nets, will be non-Hindus trying to catch some of the offerings.

Some even climb into the caldera to retrieve the sacrificed goods, hoping that they will bring good luck.

The festival is held in honour of Sang Hyang Widhi, the supreme god in Balinese Hinduism; Roro Anteng, daughter of a Majapahit king; and Joko Seger, from the Brahmin caste.

The Tenggerese themselves are said to have descended from the royal families of the ancient Majapahit kingdom.

Mount Bromo last erupted in early 2011, sending up plumes of volcanic ash that forced some regional airlines, including Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, to cancel flights.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2015, with the headline 'Give and take at Java fest'. Print Edition | Subscribe