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Jakarta Post

In Karanganyar, tea farmers celebrate harvest with Bedhayan Pucuk Putri tradition

Mon, August 26, 2019   /   06:09 pm
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    Villagers wait for a parade to pass by while sipping cups of tea. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Villagers pass through a tea plantation in Kemuning in Karanganyar, Central Java. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Young women carry tumpeng (cone-shaped steamed rice decorated with different side dishes JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Villagers take a rest while waiting for a parade to arrive. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Villagers pass through a tea plantation while carrying tumpengan (food served in cone-like shape). JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    A performance from Lembu Suro is staged as part of the Bedhayan Pucuk Putri tradition. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    The tea-harvesting dance is performed by young women. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    A tea farmer is seen working in the field. JP/Maksum Nur Fauzan

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.