KOMPAS.com - Thousands of Hindu worshippers climbed an active volcano in Indonesia on Thursday, June 16, to throw offerings from crops to livestock down its smouldering crater in a centuries-old religious ceremony.
Every year people from the Tengger tribe gather from villages in the highlands around Mount Bromo to trek to its peak to cast goats, chickens, fruit, flowers and vegetables into its crater as part of the Yadnya Kasada festival.
A chain of worshippers, some lugging goats on their backs, trekked to the edge of the crater in hope of pleasing their Hindu gods while bringing prosperity and good fortune to the communities of the Tenggerese, an Indigenous group in eastern Java.
“Despite the pandemic, I still come up here every year bringing crops (to be thrown into the crater) to express gratitude to the gods and the ancestors,” Wawan, one of the worshippers, told AFP.
Wawan had earlier launched offerings of chicken and crops into the volcanic cauldron while wishing for good health and fortune on top of the mountain famed for its stunning sunrise views.
Some villagers not part of the Tengger tribe stood on the crater’s steep slopes armed with nets in a bid to snatch the offerings out of the air before they disappeared into the smokey void.
It is not part of the ritual, but some members of the local population have the frugal urge not to let the offerings go to waste.
Thursday’s ritual was the third Yadnya Kasada ceremony since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Indonesia, but it did not deter worshippers from again carrying out their yearly sacrifice.
Bambang Suprapto, head of the area’s Hindu community association, said the annual ritual had to continue as it “cannot be held in another place” or virtually.