A woman holds her son on the way into Jepara Bay in Central Java on July 2. She was participating in the Lomban Festival as a sign of gratitude for the blessings from Jepara fishermen. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan
A man throws an offering into the sea after his boat swamps during the Lomban procession in Jepara Bay, Central Java, on July 2. People believe those who grab any items would be blessed. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan
Rows of boats carrying fishermen and visitors are heading to the site where the Lomban Festival takes place in Jepara Bay, Central Java, on July 2. The procession is held by locals to thank God for his blessings and to preserve local culture. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan
A buffalo head, agricultural produce and ketupat (steamed rice packed in diamond-shaped woven palm leaves) are put on a boat to be floated as offerings to show fishermen’s gratitude. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan
Fully loaded boats join the Lomban Festival on Jepara Bay on July 2. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan
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]