Hundreds of fishermen and visitors flock to Jepara’s port on the northern coast of Central Java to watch the Lomban Festival to celebrate what is locally known as Lebaran Kupat (steamed rice packed in a diamond-shaped woven palm leaves). The holiday falls on the week after the Idul Fitri holiday. The Lomban party has been held since 1920.
Fishermen and visitors board their boats, which are colorfully decorated, and wait for the sign to follow the lead boat that carries offerings to the waters of Jepara Bay.
They have to travel for about 40 minutes before reaching the designated waters and they will struggle to get some of the offerings, which are a buffalo head and crops. The struggle in the water is quite dangerous, but people still enthusiastically take part in the annual tradition.
Locals see the tradition as a thanksgiving gesture for abundant crops, as well as a way to introduce the local culture to other areas. [yan]