Traditional Harvest Celebration in Indonesia

When we start to talk about traditional harvest celebration in Indonesia, there definitely are lots of things going on throughout the nation. In this week’s Local Wisdom, we explored the vibrant traditions of Indonesia’s harvest celebration to understand deeper about our long and deep relationship to agriculture in Indonesia.

1. Seren Taun

The Sundanese have their harvest celebration which they call Seren Taun. It is celebrated annually based on Sundanese ancient calendar since back in the Kingdom of Sunda era. They would sing songs such asPangemat and Angin-angin to call and invite the goddess to come down to earth and bless the rice seeds, the farmers and to keep off bad lucks and also preventing misfortune.

The ritual starts by presenting rice to community leaders, which then will be put into leuit (rice barn). The community leaders will give the indung pare (mother of rice) that has been blessed to village leaders to be planted for the next farming cycle.


2. Wiwitan

Wiwitan tradition is celebrated in Bantul, Jogja and Demak. This is when the villagers are preparing offerings such as traditional food and they would pray together for a good season ahead. The farmers will harvest the paddy and keep some as the seed for the next planting season. Traditionally they would also wash their farming equipments to wash away bad luck.


3. Bendrong Lesung

Bendrong Lesung is a festive celebration by the villagers in Karanganyar. This festival mainly involves beating the mortar (lesung) that they would normally use to beat the paddy. The mortar becomes a lively musical instrument which builds up the ambiance and mark the harvest celebration in Karanganyar. Normally the beating of the mortar is joined by other traditional music instruments to create a more festive celebration.

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