Maksum Nur Fauzan
Farmers at the Kemuning tea plantation in Ngargoyoso district, Karanganyar regency, Central Java, celebrated the Bedhayan Pucuk Putri tradition on July 30 to express their gratitude for a good harvest.
The tradition started with a parade of gunungan (cone-shaped offerings) consisting of agricultural produce. The parade started at one of the water springs in the area that is said to be where their ancestors first began planting tea. From there, the participants strolled along the village road before reaching the tea plantation.
After arriving at the location, the event continued with a performance, the Bedhayan Pucuk Putri Dance, featuring nine women. The dance was created by locals and, according to tradition, can only be performed by virgins.
“The dance describes the process of tea planting, nurturing and harvesting,” said the chairman of the event committee, Priyanto Wiryo.
Priyanto said the tradition aimed to encourage the public to always be grateful for the gift of nature in the form of tea in the Kemuning area.
The tea itself has many advantages. Its leaves can be processed to create a beverage, while the tea plant can hold 70 liters of water.
The plantation also serves as a recreational site that has been managed well without being overexploited.