Prepare yourself for a truly exceptional cultural experience in romantic surroundings!
The magical beauty of the mist-shrouded highlands of Dieng Plateau in Central Java will be unveiled at the Dieng Culture Festival 2018 scheduled to take place on August 3rd to 5th, 2018, and will be centered in Dieng Kulon, Batur Sub-District, Banjarnegara Regency.
Image source: http://diengpandawa.com
Entering its 9th edition this year, the festival will again present a range of art and cultural performances, an exhibition of Dieng's finest products, and as pinnacle of the event: the ritual of shaving off dreadlocks of kids born with this unique hair. The ceremony is known as Ruwatananakgembel/gimbal. Strangely enough, Dieng is a place where many kids are born with dreadlock hair.
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No less than 16 exciting sub events will be featured in the 9th Dieng Cultural Festival (DCF-9). These include: Flower and ‘Caping’ Traditional matted headgear festival, a Firework Fiesta, ‘the Tumpeng’’ Festival, a Lantern Festival, a Cultural Parade, Traditional Art Performances, a Culinary Bazaar, and a whole lot more.
Adding sparkle to the festival will be a special Jazz performance aptly entitled Jazz above the Clouds, since Dieng, indeed, stands above the clouds. As in all previous editions, the Jazz above the Clouds will feature some of Indonesia’s top musicians.
Dieng festival will also take the audience to explore the spellbinding beauty of the Dieng panorama. Tourists will witness the spectacular sunrise overlooking the highlands, the morning mist surrounding the ancient temple complex, the breathtaking views of Lake Telaga Warna and the Sikidang Crater, and a whole lot more.
Image source: http://ngetripmulu.com
This year, organizers have prepared a camping ground for those who wish to fully immerse themselves in the magical beauty of these highlands under clear starry skies, as they enjoy the festival in alternative accommodation.
Being the main feature of the festival, the ritual of trimming off of dreadlocks of kids is truly exceptional. While globally dreadlock hair is commonly known as Rastafarian style from Jamaica, here in the highlands of Dieng, dreadlock, or matted hair is not a chosen style but rather a mystifying feature that only occurs in children of the Dieng plateau.
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Dieng's dreadlock children are born with normal hair, but at a certain moment in their young life, their hair amazingly turns dreadlock all by itself. Various studies to scientifically investigate the cause have not resulted in any logical explanation. According to local belief, however, these kids are somehow chosen by the ancestors to accept these gifts. The dreadlocks may, therefore, not be trimmed unless the children themselves ask for it, or such hair will continue to grow back. The precious moment when the dreadlock kids' hair is shaven off is celebrated in a series of rituals known as the RuwatanAnakGimbal.
Image source: http://diengpandawa.com
Image source: https://triyogaadiperdana.com
Located about three hours' drive away from Yogyakarta, or two hours south west from the city of Semarang, the Dieng highlands are truly a marvel all their own. Literally translated as the "Abode of the Gods", Dieng plateau not only presents a remarkable collection of temples believed to have been built in the 7th century, but it is also set in a fascinating mountainous background and surrounded by the mystical culture of its people.
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