Maksum Nur Fauzan
Twelve girls took part in a haircutting ritual held at the Arjuna Temple complex in Dieng Plateau, Banjarnegara regency, Central Java, on Aug. 5. This ritual coincided with the ninth Dieng Culture Festival and was marked with various events, such as a clean-up, a lantern festival and jazz performances.
Twelve girls with hair matted into dreadlocks were paraded on a horse carriage for 3 kilometers to reach the Arjuna Temple complex. Their hair was then washed by an elder before being cut and thrown into Telaga Warna (colorful lake).
Local people believe that these children are the descendants of Kyai Kolodete and Ni Roro Ronce. They suffered a high fever for three days before growing their hair. There has been no logical explanation for the phenomenon.
No adults were allowed to cut their hair; the children must first request a haircut.
Like most children would, they demanded various treats and gifts before the ritual, ranging from chocolate ice cream, bicycles and dolls to a goat, carrots, meatballs and smartphones.
Locals hope the Dieng Culture Festival can attract more domestic and foreign tourists and help boost their economy. In the past three years, roads to Dieng have been jammed and therefore making visitors reluctant to come. [yan]