Lombok IndonesiaCultural, Events and Festival
Lombok Cultural, Events, and Festivals
The Sasak live mainly on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, numbering around 2.6 million (85% of Lombok’s population). They are related to the Balinese in language and race, although the Sasak are predominantly Muslim while the Balinese are Hindu.The Sasak language is closely related to the languages of Bali and Sumbawa, and to most other languages of Indonesia more distantly. Little is known about Sasak history except that Lombok was placed under direct rule of the Majapahit prime Minister, patih Gajah Mada. The Sasaks converted to Islam between the late 16th century to early 17th century under the influence of Sunan Giri and the Muslim Makassarese, frequently mixing basic Islamic beliefs alongside with Hindu-Buddhist beliefs, thus creating the Wektu Telu religion. Lombok was conquered by the Gelgel Balinese kingdom in the early 18th century, thus bringing a large population of Balinese to Lombok. The Balinese population of Lombok today is about 300,000, 10-15% of Lombok’s population. The Balinese have also strongly influenced the Wektu Telu religion of Lombok.Most of the Sasaks today are adherents of the Wektu Lima version of Islam. Wektu Lima or Five Times signifies the five daily prayers which Muslims are required to do.
The term Wektu Lima is used to distinguish them from the Sasaks who are practitioners of Wektu Telu or Three Times who only pray three times a day. Orthodox Islamic teachers generally instruct adherents to pray five times a day.
Large numbers of people adhering to the Wektu Telu faith can be still found throughout the island, especially in the village of Bayan, where the religion originated. Large Wektu Telu communities can be still found in Mataram, Pujung, Sengkol, Rambitan, Sade, Tetebatu, Bumbung, Sembalun, Senaru, Loyok and Pasugulan. A small minority of Sasaks called the Bodha (estimated population: 8000) are mainly found in the village of Bentek and on the slopes of Gunung Rinjani. They are totally untouched by Islamic influence and worship animistic gods, incorporating some Hindu and Buddhist influences in their rituals and religious vocabulary. This group of Sasak, due in part to the name of their tribe, are recognized as Buddhists by the Indonesian government.
The Buddha have the same magico-religious officials and institutions as the Wektu Telu (with the exception of course of the Kiyai, the Wektu Telu religious official dealing with all aspects of the Wektu Telu religion which mixes Islam and animism). The Bodhas recognize the existence of five main gods, the highest of which is Batara Guru, followed by Batara Sakti and Batara Jeneng with their wives Idadari Sakti and Idadari Jeneng, though they also believe in Spirits and Ghosts. The Bodha religion is also to some extent influenced by both Hindu and Buddhist concepts. Of late, they have come under the influence of mainstream Buddhism from Buddhist missionaries.
Lombok Events and Festivals
Islamic New Year: being a predominantly Islamic island, Lombok’s Muslims celebrate the start of the new year with prayer and readings. Some locals exchange cards and gifts.
Chinese New Year: Lombok’s Chinese community puts on a good show during their traditional New Year. Firecrackers, the colour red and happy families fill many villages. This is a popular time for people to visit relatives and purchase new clothing.
Bau Nyale Festival: Lombok’s most famous and fascinating ritual happens along the south-central beaches when thousands of colourful sea worms are washed ashore due to natural circumstances.
Gendang Beleq Festival: each village sends their version of this traditional musical troupe to this grand gathering to compete and have a good time.
Male’an Sampi: this fun and exciting Lombok tradition pits cattle against each other in a race across a rice paddy, to mark the beginning of the new planting season.
Senggigi Festival: during this week-long event, cultural events take place at Lombok’s main beach area to promote the island’s tourism potential and celebrate its unique art and culture.
Stick Fighting Festival: Senggigi is the best place to see this annual event where men compete with sticks and shields, to show off their strength and agility.
Senggigi Art Market: Daily Art and handycrafts exhibitions
Independence Day: this national holiday marks Indonesia’s freedom from colonialism with fun village games like pole climbing, special cultural performances and other interesting activities.
Ramadhan: one of Islam’s major events marks a month-long fast when food, sex, drinking and smoking are banned. Visitors may find that many warung and shops are closed during this month, but most Restaurants in Tourism area are Open. the naughty Bali taxi Driver will say don’t come to Lombok as no Restaurants open, as they want to keep traveller stay in Bali.
Idul Fitri Week: marking the end of Ramadan, this festive occasion sees Muslims buy new clothes and get together for a special family meal. Gifts are exchanged and hopes for peace and prosperity are shared.
Takbir Parade: to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the locals of Lombok hold this special parade which is unique to the island.
Lebaran Topat: this important Muslim event is held on the seventh day after Idul Fitri, bringing families together to enjoy traditional topat rice snacks. The beaches south of Senggigi attract the most action.
Mulang Pekelem: Balinese Hindus living on Lombok make a pilgrimage to Lake Segara Arak in Rinjani’s crater to throw offerings into the water on the full moon, creating a fascinating and colourful scene on the volcano.
Perang Topat: Balinese and Sasaks come together at Lingsar Park to pray for another year of good crops and fertility before engaging in a frivolous battle where combatants throw topat rice snacks at each other.