Festivals are an essential part of global life and function as an important way in which cultures still retain their unique identity, in an increasingly homogenised world.
Karapan Sapi is a classic example, a traditional bull racing festival on the Indonesian island of Madura.
Every year from about July through October, local bulls are yoked to wooden skids and raced for 130 meters, similar to a chariot race.
The Karapan Sapi began as a way to show off powerful bulls best for plowing the field and has since evolved into a tradition that takes on a festival atmosphere complete with food and entertainment.
Two bulls are hitched together by a decorative yoke created by local artists. The yoke is connected to a wooden apparatus that looks a bit like a small ladder that hangs behind them. This is where the jockey perches, barefoot. The jockeys then grab the tails of the bulls, balancing on the wooden perch.
There are several of these races throughout the season, and there is a final trophy race held in Pamekasan. The bulls participating in the event are adorned with gold and other decorations, and the event may be accompanied by Gamelan music, food, and wagers on the outcome of the race.
The pictures below capture the energy of the moment superbly, as the riders desperately hang-on as the fearsome power of the bulls is unleashed:
[More Information: Karapan Sapi Festival
| Modern Farmer
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Should we still be including animals as part of our festivals/ entertainment? If not, do we risk losing part of our living history and culture? And who decides?
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