Lombok is a part of Indonesia that is rich of cultures and traditions. As an island that is still inhabited by most original local people called Sasak Tribe, we still can find kinds of unique cultural traditions in the island. For the uniqueness of the traditions, many tourists watch it as interesting attractions from the local people.
Bau Nyale is an annual festival held as a tradition of the Sasak people in February. In certain day of the month, huge numbers of sea worms come to the seashores.The people are gathering on the beaches and then catch the sea worms together in the festival. According to the ancient belief of Sasak ancestors, sea worms are the symbols of prosperity and luck. So the people believe that they will get much luck if they join the festival of worm catching.
After the festival, the people commonly use the worms as additional fertilizers to their rice fields,cook the sea worms to become side dish and even some traditional drugs. Some studies have been done to the sea worms and the resultsshowedthat the sea creatures contain high protein and substances that can kill germs. That is why the people can feel so much advantages of the sea worm consumption and then make the Bau Nyale as the part of cultural tradition.
Another unique tradition in Lombok is Nyongkolan or the wedding ceremony of the Sasak people. The traditional wedding has some rituals that take quite long time of procession. The tradition starts from Selarian; the day when a man takes his girl away from her home. The next morning, the man will send someone to inform the girl’s family that their daughter will marry the man who kidnapped her; this processionis called Selabar. When Selarian happens, the girl can’t go back to her family although the family doesn’t want the marriage happened.
After Selabar is done, then the wedding ceremony called Merariq is held to legalize the marriage. Next, the procession of Nyongkolan is held. It is the ceremony of bringing back the brideto her family’s home. Many people participate to this procession; making lines, wearing colorful traditional clothes, and walking to the bride’s home while doing traditional dances along with the traditional music playing called Gendang Beleq.
The long lines of people walking for the traditional wedding procession becomes certain attractions for tourists in Lombok.You can find such processioneasily on Saturday or Sunday especially after Lebaran Holiday.
This traditional attraction was originally a procession to show masculinity of young men in Sasak tribes. In this procession, two men are armed with long wooden sticks and shields in rectangular shape. The fighting is presented with traditional music playing of Gamelan. As a tourism attraction, today the tourists can also participate as the men who are fighting. However, unlike the past time when the fighting procession can cause bleeding in the participants. Nowadays, the tradition is only a procession made for fun and attractions.