From 23rd to 24th July 2013, the magnificent Mount Bromo in East Java will be highlighted with a fascinating cultural attraction as the indigenous Tenggerese conduct the ritual ceremony of Yadnya Kasada.
The Yadnya Kasada (or popularly called Kesodo) is a festival held every 14th day of the Kasada Month in the traditional Hindu lunar calendar. This ceremony is to honor Sang Hyang Widhi, God Almighty, and is based on the ancient legend of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger.
Legend has it that after many years of marriage, the couple of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger remained childless, and therefore meditated atop Mount Bromo, beseeching the mountain gods for assistance. The gods granted them 24 children, with the 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 into the volcano to appease the deities continues until today, although, of course, instead of humans, they are chickens, goats and vegetables that are thrown into the crater for sacrifice.
Yadnya Kasada is observed by the Tenggerese, who are descendants of the princes of the powerful 13th century Majapahit kingdom in East Java, who took refuge in the highlands of Mt. Bromo at the fall of the Majapahit empire. Although the majority of Javanese have converted to Islam, this unique community still clings to their ancient beliefs from the old days of Majapahit until today. Like the Hindu Balinese, the Tenggerese worship Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa, the Almighty God, along with the Trimurti gods, of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, with added elements of Animism and Mahayana Buddhism.
When the Yadnya Kasada day arrives, the crowds that have traveled together up the mountain, pray together on the mountain and throw offerings into the crater of the volcano. The sacrifices include vegetables, fruit, livestock, flowers and even money, and are offered in gratitude for agricultural and livestock abundance. Some locals climb down into the crater despite obvious dangers, to retrieve the sacrificed goods, believing that these will bring good luck.
More on Yadnya Kasada can be observed in our: THE YADNYA KASADA CEREMONY AT MT. BROMO
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