Karapan Sapi – Traditional Cow Racing Festival in Indonesia
Indonesia, an archipelago in Southeast Asia, is a homeland for more than 100 ethnic groups. This large amount of ethnic groups brings Indonesia on having a very rich culture and tradition for one ethnic group has different custom and tradition than the others. One enticing tradition takes place in Madura, one region in the East Java during August until October every year. This tradition is called Karapan Sapi (the Indonesian words for Cow Racing Festival) which attracts visitors from the other regions of Indonesia to come and observe such a picturesque festival in Madura.
Rules of the Cow Racing Festival
While people are normally see horses as participants in a race, the animals participating in Karapan Sapi are cows. Two cows and one man as the jockey are joined as one team and have to race against the other teams. The length of the track is about 100 meters until 200 meters that the cows are able to reach the goal in about 14 until 18 seconds. Because the cows run very fast, the jockey are sometimes darted off the piece of wood which becomes the footing space. First team to reach the goal is considered as the winner and receive a very large amount of money, about 75 until 80 million rupiahs.
Tradition before the Racing
Seeing the big prize that will be received by the winner, many people in Madura have a strong desire of winning the racing. They even call out the best shaman of the village to keep the cow healthy and unhurt until the day of the racing comes. The best food and enough rest are provided by the cow owners while some others do not utilize the cows to hijack the field before the competition is held. Before the racing starts, the cows are being paraded around the track completed with saronen (musical performance from Madura) as the back sound. Saronen music accompanied the cows parade is provided by each participant of the Cow Racing in the purpose of making the race much more cheerful.
Karapan Sapi is the most-waited event for all people in Madura, both participants and spectators. Often, Madura people staying in the other provinces of Indonesia come back to their hometown during August until October only because they want to observe this event.