- Worshippers climbed Mount Bromo to throw offerings into the active volcano.
- The offerings are made as part of the annual Yadnya Kasada festival.
- The practice dates back to a 15-century legend.
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Members of the Tengger tribe gather on Mount Bromo from the surrounding highlands as part of the annual Hindu festival Yadnya Kasada and cast livestock such as chickens and goats and rice, fruit, and other items into the smoking crater as offerings to Hindu Gods.
The origins of the month-long festival date back to the 15th-century legend of Javanese Princess Roro and her husband. The legend says the Hindu gods granted the couple 24 children after years of struggling to conceive but on the provision that their 25th child must be thrown into the volcano as a sacrifice.
The tradition of throwing sacrifices into the volcano to appease Hindu Gods continues today, but locals offer up their harvest instead of humans.
“I brought these crops so that my fields will be fertile and I have a good harvest,” one worshipper told AFP. “I come here every year.”
Another worshipper said: “I brought these crops so that my fields will be fertile and I have a good harvest.”
Other locals who are not members of the Tengger tribe can often be seen standing inside the volcano’s crater, attempting to catch the offerings with nets before they descend into the active pit. This is not an official part of the Yadnya Kasada festival but is orchestrated to ensure the offerings aren’t wasted, according to local media reports.
Saturday was the second time that the Yadnya Kasada festival had taken place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Organizers applied strict health protocols and they’ve been tested for the virus so we can protect everyone who attended,” Bambang Suprapto, head of the local Hindu community association, told AFP.
In recent years, the Yadnya Kasada festival has become a more elaborate and tourist-friendly attraction with the help of the local government. In 2019, the traditional rituals were accompanied by visual art and musical performances.