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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bau Nyale Festival (Day 2 in Lombok)

Part of the reason we came to Kute, Lombok was because of it's seclusion!  Tourists are just barely starting to come here and there are only a few hotels in the area.  But.... we happened to be here on one of the busiest weekends of the year, for the Bau Nyale Festival.  What seemed like a little bit of a bummer turned into a really awesome cultural experience!  We hung out here, at Full Moon Cafe, for the parade to come through town... 

The police were excited I stopped to snap their photo. While it may not seem like it here, they actually thanked me. 

How awesome are these two? 

 The island is almost completely Muslim, and yes, the Muslim prayers are broadcasted over LOUD SPEAKERS 5 times a day!  Intense, I tell you!  Our homestay host actually gave us these ear plugs as part of their welcome package!  LOL

The parade was awesome! As legend has it, Princess Mandalika, who was stunningly gorgeous, was the talk of the island.  Princes were fighting over her and began to distress her after some time, so she jumped off a cliff to bring peace back to her land.

At this time of year, every year, at Kuta Beach on Lombok Island, the locals believe Princess Mandalika comes to visit them in the form or little, colorful worms which come up through the sand for 2 days each year. They believe the worms are actually strands of her hair and the locals fill the beach around 4am, to gather the worms and bringing them home to fry and eat. Ugh! The people here believe that the more worms they catch, the better their harvest will be for the year. So, the parade is made up of different groups/schools from around the island. Each group is dressed in traditional Indonesian garb and 1 girl is dressed as a princess and carried along the entire 2 km parade route!

 "Happy Bae Nyale" from Indonesia!