On 9th to 10th July 2017, the indigenous Tenggerese community who live on the slopes of the stunning Mount Bromo, the imposing icon of East Java will conduct their age old ritual ceremony called Yadnya Kasada. The Yadnya Kasada (or more popularly known as Kesodo) is a festival held every 14th day of the Kasada Month in the traditional Hindu lunar calendar. This ceremony is held to honor Sang Hyang Widhi, God Almighty, and is based on the ancient legend of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger.
Photo source: Agen Wisata Bromo Malang
Legend has it that a couple named Roro Anteng and Joko Seger remained childless after many years of marriage. To ask for children, they meditated atop Mount Bromo, beseeching the mountain gods for assistance. The gods granted them 24 children on condition that the 25th child must be thrown into the volcano as human sacrifice. The gods’ request was observed, and so the tradition of offering sacrifices thrown into the the crater of the volcano to appease the deities continues until today, yet, of course, without human sacrifice. Instead, today chicken, goats and vegetables are thrown into the crater for offering.
Photo source: Guardian
Yadnya Kasada is observed by the Tenggerese, among whom are also villagers of Ngadas, believed to be descendants of the aristocracy of the once powerful 13th century Majapahit kingdom in East Java. At the fall of the Majapahit Empire – whose iconic temple is the Wringin Lawang temple – they fled and took refuge along the upper slopes of Mt. Bromo. Although the majority of Javanese today have converted to Islam, this unique community, nonetheless, has continued to cling to their ancient beliefs from the days of Majapahit until this day. Similar to the Hindu Balinese, the Tenggerese worship Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa, the Almighty God, along with the Trimurti gods of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu, with added elements of Animism and Mahayana Buddhism.
On the day of Yadnya Kasada long before daybreak, devotees who have journeyed up Mt. Bromo, will pray together atop the mountain and then throw their offerings into the crater. The offerings include vegetables, fruit, livestock, flowers as well as money, and are offered in grateful thanks for an abundance of agricultural produce and livestock given to them. Sometimes locals clamber down into the crater despite obvious dangers, to retrieve the sacrificed goods, which are believed to bring them good luck.
Photo source: DepositPhotos
Leading up to the event, various tour operators and travel agents have already prepared tour packages in connection with the Yadnya Kasada Ceremony. While hotels and transportation businesses as well as tourism stakeholders are also making the necessary preparations to take part and witness this age old tradition that has always attracted thousands of tourists both domestic and from overseas.
Chairman of the Indonesia Hotels and Restaurant Association (IHRA) of THE Probolinggo Regency branch, Digdoyo Djamaludin informs that most hotels and travel agents have already prepared various packages and promotions for the event. In the Sukapura sub-district, there are 14 hotels with the total rooms of 394. In addition, there are also 138 homestays which offer on average 4 rooms each. Digdoyo further added that for years, Kesodo has attracted many international tourists especially from Germany, the Netherlands, and France.
Photo source: Agoda
“This is truly a special tradition, and it is not limited or restricted, so everyone can join this unique experience. Do visit Mount Bromo and experience yourself this unique annual tradition as be amazed by the stunning views of Mount Bromo,” said Digdoyo Jamaludin.
Located some 4 hours’ drive from Surabaya, capital of East Java, Mount Bromo in the Probolinggo Regency form part of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park that covers a massive 800 square km. area. Bromo is also reachable from the town of Malang.
While the active Bromo volcano may be small when measured against other volcanoes in Indonesia, the fantastic sight of Mt. Bromo with its spectacular views and dramatic landscape leave one in awe. At 2,392 meters height, Mt. Bromo is not among the tallest among Indonesia’s mountains but its stunning beauty lies in its incredible setting.
Be sure to be there during the Kesodo ceremony!
Photo source of header banner: DepositPhotos