Banyuwangi does not only have the natural tourism sector. What is no less important is the fact that the culture of the local community has been preserved until now. Starting from art festivals, culture, fashion to sports, everything is complete there. But if you are interested in watching cultural-themed performances, you must visit these 6 top Banyuwangi festivals and try to match your vacation time.
1. Kebo-keboan Alasmalang
It is a tradition for the Javanese people to hold a ritual when entering the month of Suro. One of the most unique is the kebo-keboan ritual passed down from generation to generation by the people of Alasmalang Village. Kebo-keboan was held to express gratitude and offer prayers so that farmers in Alasmalang would always be given prosperity and abundant harvests in the future.
This kebo-kebo ritual begins with Ider Bumi carrying a human dressed as a buffalo, with Dewi Sri being carried on a stretcher to follow the kebo-kebo. The peak of the kebo-keboan ritual is the buffalo-men, some of whom possessed by spirits, are lowered into the fields to plow and plant rice. The community believes the rice seeds to be able to resist reinforcements. That’s why many viewers are scrambling to get the seeds. The event was more exciting when the people who wanted to take the rice ran helter-skelter being chased by “buffaloes.”
2. Gandrung Sewu Festival
Gandrung Dance is the next most awaited event by tourists, both local and foreign. They dubbed the City of Gandrung because Banyuwangi and the icon of the gandrung dancers cannot be separated. The word ‘gandrung’ refers to the meaning of admiration, describing the state of the Blambangan people who greatly admire the incomparably beautiful goddess, Dewi Sri. They believe that Dewi Sri is the goddess of fertility and prosperity for an agrarian society.
It is said that this Gandrung Dance was created from a very long and sad history, namely when the Bayu War broke out between the Blambangan people and the Company. Now, this dance is more performed as a form of gratitude for the abundant harvest of crops.
The Gandrung Sewu Festival itself contains a colossal dance performance that displays exotic works of art, or a form of respect for Dewi Sri. More than that, this grand festival implies that preserving culture requires cooperation from all parties. For this reason, the number one thousand was chosen as the number of female dancers who were representatives from all parts of Banyuwangi.
3. Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival
Being one of the top 10 best Indonesian tourism events, you must watch this festival live at least once in your life! Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival is a Banyuwangi ethnic fashion show that raises the theme around the richness of local culture. Ethnic wisdom in Banyuwangi is the main focus because the local government wants the culture of the Banyuwangi people to be more global. Evidently, this magnificent performance also makes foreign tourists look forward to the agenda of this festival. Ensure you keep an eye on the Banyuwangi Ministry of Tourism’s news and calendar for the coming year.
4. Jaranan Buto Festival
Jaranan Buto Banyuwangi is a jaranan art in Java, a dance that uses imitation properties of Jaran (horse). The thing that makes it unique is that the jaranan dancers are dressed scary like Buto or Giants, with dreadlocks and long fangs.
Although the art of Jaranan Buto has the same mystical breath as Jaranan Kepang, in the Jaranan Buto Festival, dangerous attractions such as trance are removed so that the event runs more neatly. Jaranan Buto art itself is usually held by teams from various art studios throughout Banyuwangi Regency. So, this festival is a place to introduce local culture and creativity to you.
5. Keboan Aliyan Festival
Both are Kebo-keboan ceremonies for thanksgiving rituals, Kebo Aliyan is far more mystical than Kebo-keboan Alasmalang. In fact, on the night before the show started, many farmers from Aliyan Village were already possessed. Not only that, many Banyuwangi people who live overseas take the time to go home at the beginning of the month of Suro, for fear of being possessed overseas. Kebo Aliyan usually begins with holding a feast the night before the ritual is held. Then, the next day, it was continued with a series of Ider Bumi and Keboan in the rice fields as the residents of Alasmalang did.
6. Baleganjur Festival
Not only Bali has the Ogoh-ogoh art, which is paraded every time the Nyepi Day approaches. In Banyuwangi, in Purwoharjo District, the majority of the people embraced Hinduism for the second time holding the Baleganjur Festival.
Baleganjur means walking troops who follow the Ogoh-ogoh procession. Although this custom is usually carried out by Hindus, in Banyuwangi, all Purwoharjo people from various religions also work together to make the festival a success. You will see how the diversity in Indonesia is wonderful to see.
Ready to start your getaway to Banyuwangi? Visit Wonderful Indonesia, and don’t miss out on the magic!