Exciting Buffalo & Cow Festival in Indonesia

Indonesia is quite familiar with the racing buffaloes or cows that are held during the festival. Here’s our top picked for buffalo racing festival and cow.

Makepung, Bali

Makepung is the name of a major grand prix in Jembrana, West Bali, which features racing buffalo races. Hundreds of pairs of buffaloes are teamed up together with their jockeys riding the traditional wooden ploughs that are slightly modified for the competition. The racer buffaloes, called kerbaupepadu, compete in various open race circuits in assorted heats around the district of Melaya, leading up to the finals, or what has come to be known as the Jembrana Regent’s Cup, and the Governor’s Cup, held annually.

Makepung is derived from the base word of kepung, meaning ‘chase’, similar to the expression ‘steeplechase’. Makepung is one of the unique traditions stemmed from the agrarian life scene of the island, and is a widely enjoyed event in the regency of Jembrana, west Bali. The grand-scale events inspired from such a simple, traditional pastime preserves the unique traditions of this part of the island, as well as to promote tourism to this far flung western location. The competitions also provide positive impact on other local sectors such as agriculture and farming.

The tradition has partly prevented the shift of land for farming use, and it has also encouraged the people to improve the quality of animal husbandry, raising winning buffaloes for the yearly events. The Makepung tradition of Jembrana inspired the creation of a Balinese dance of the same name in 1984. This dance is performed by seven to nine male and female participants, and depicts riders and the buffaloes themselves. One of the unique features of the dance is that it is accompanied by the Jegog bamboo orchestra which is also typical of the regency.

Karapan Sapi, Madura – Java

Karapansapi is a traditional bull racing festival on the Indonesian island of Madura.Every year local bulls are yoked to wooden skids and raced for 130 meters, similar to a chariot race.There are several of these races throughout the season, and there is a final trophy race held inPamekasan. The bulls participating in the event are adorned with gold and other decorations,and the event may be accompanied by Gamelan music, food, and wagers on the outcome of the race.

Similar to Makepung, this festival also hold a single animal. The difference is, this animal is a cow, not a bull. Cows that are contested and with a pair of jockey in the middle. Bull Race Festival takes place every year in several cities in Madura. Starting the festival is in August, September and continues on the final match falls in late September or October. Her own long race with only 1 minute long track about 100 meters.

Pacu Jawi, West Sumatra

If there Makepung in Bali, there are Bull Race in Madura, Sumatra Pacu Jawi there. Basically, the same festival, the cow race. Pacu Jawi community festival held Tanah Datar, Sumatra as gratitude for a good harvest.

This is where the cow will be invited to compete. The system is the same as Makepung and Bull Race. Ie two cows will run along with a jockey in the middle. The festival has become a regular agenda and increasingly attracts many tourists.

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