Be stunned by the beauty of Mount Bromo

Shadow dancers: Artists perform various dramas and dances on East Java's Mount Bromo.
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Mount Bromo in East Java is renowned for its stunning scenery and as host of the annual Yadnya Kasada ritual.

The ritual is thought to have started when Princess Roro Anteng and Prince Joko Seger, believed to be the ancestors of the Tengger ethnic people, prayed to the gods to bestow them with offspring.

After having 25 children, the deities asked the last one, Raden Kusuma, to be sacrificed in the Bromo crater.

Raden Kusuma obeyed and plunged into the volcano's crater while calling on the Tengger community to express gratitude to Sang Yang Widi, the Almighty God, and beg for prosperity by offering sacrifices in the form of some property or agricultural produce and cattle every year during the full moon of the 14th of Kasada, the 10th month of the Tengger calendar.

This year's ritual was held on the night of July 9 to 10 as the full moon reached its peak.

A week before the ritual, Tengger people from various regions and religious backgrounds gathered to take part in the ritual.

They started by collecting sacred water from Widodaren cave on the slope of Mount Batok, which was taken to their spiritual leaders to be prayed for before being later offered to the Bromo crater.

The culmination of the ritual began with prayers conducted by all spiritual leaders at Mt. Bromo's Luhur Poten temple, where diverse offerings or sacrifices were arranged by means of bamboo containers called ongkek.

After being blessed by the spiritual chiefs, the ongkek from several villages were dropped into the Bromo crater as it neared sunrise.

The event inevitably drew the attention of a wide range of tourists seeking to witness the exotic spectacle and local culture.

This year around, a number of cultural figures and artists from many parts of Indonesia also marked the 200th anniversary of Thomas Stamford Raffles' arrival at Mt. Bromo as described in his History of Java, on the eve of the ritual, while the dance drama programme added more charm to Bromo's exoticism.

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