Bau Nyale Festival: An epic party from Lombok people for everyone!

Bau Nyale comes from Sasak (indigenous people from Lombok island) language. Bau=catch, nyale=sea worms.  A famous legend in Sasak tradition tells about a princess who sacrifice and turn herself into millions of sea worms so everyone can get her and enjoy her rather than she must choose a prince. Art show at midnight and catching sea worms at dawn! This event is held every year at full moon in February. EPIC!

See the red box! That's the location for the festival.

Hello guys! I’m still trying to tell you about my adventure in Lombok Island. I was here on purpose, for doing my final research to get a bachelor degree in Department of Geography University of Indonesia. I won’t tell you about my research on this post. But, I want to tell you that I’m very fortunate that during my visit, my host family told me that there will be a huge festival in south! This festival called Bau Nyale where thousand of people come from across Lombok (even from across this country!)


The Legend of Princess Mandalika

According to the myth, in ancient times on the south coast of Lombok island there is a kingdom called Tonjang Beru. And live a beautiful princess, her name was Mandalika. She was very famous across  the island of Lombok. Beauty and elegance of the princess heard by the princes across the island. They were trying to get Princess Mandalika’s heart but, the Princess was confused. Then, a contest was held for the princes. The princes have to compete each other in “Pasola”, a traditional Sasak duel. But all the princes has same strength. There was no winner. The princes were angry, how come the Princess couldn’t decide the winner?

Princess Mandalika was desperate. She confused and stressful. She couldn’t make any decision. Meanwhile, the princes always fight each other. The princess did not want a drop of blood fell on the kingdom. So, she made an announcement that she will make her decision in Kuta beach during the full moon.

At time and place, so many people across the island curious about Princess Mandalika’s decision. Who will be the lucky prince? But, then, strange things happen. The Princess jumped out from the cliff to the sea. All the princes and people who watched that unfortunate event were pretty shocked. They trying to find the Princess but they couldn’t find her. Then suddenly, millions of worms come out from the sea. Until now, people alleged that the sea worms as incarnation of the princess. They race to take the worms as many as possible to enjoy as much of Princess’s love and also as a dining or other purposes.

Bau Nyale this year..

As I told you before that I was so fortunate that I can attend this huge festival. The local government have marked the date for this year Bau Nyale event: February 12-13. So, at 4pm, I went to Seger beach with my host and my new friends (thank you Mas Habib, Mas Ojie, and Mas Heri! Thank you so much!). Then we arrived at 5.30pm, had early dinner together and also watching sunset! The sunset was so spectacular! It was breathtaking and better watch them from the cliff. So, I went up and took a couple of photos.

Breathtaking view of sunset from Seger Beach, Kuta

Another breathtaking view! Can't get enough sunset!!

Still, can't get enough sunset! Wohooooo!!

I met a lot of local kids and they were so adorable. This is me with them :)

I walked around the beach and there were so many of tenants and small shops around the venue! A lot of security staff and also red cross volunteer tried to make the situation safe and controlled. But I think it’s okay to take a walk around 8-9pm. And also I would recommend that you sit in front of the stage near the main tent. A lot of securities stayed there to secure people from government who also watched this event. I was in front of stage from 9pm – 1am, that was when I met a couple from Chile, Alejandra and Kiko (it was great meeting you guys! We had a great time with that mud :P kidding! ). We had a lot of conversation mostly talking about the main event. Ale had her moment with Indonesian singer on the stage singing Katy Perry’s Fireworks! So much fun! I bet she also enjoyed that moment ;)

So from 9 pm – 4.30 am, the stage was full of art show! From beauty pageant, traditional music performance, traditional dance performance, and also a theater performance telling story about the legend of Princess Mandalika. It was AWESOME, EPIC, and full of JOY!

Oh, I would recommend that you should pay attention, do NOT bring valuable things. Put your mobile phone, gadgets, etc in safe place. If you come alone, stay near the security post. I was alone from 2 am, so I keep stayed near the security post and watched the festival and the crowd from top of a red cross jeep!! Wohooo ;)

The stage, the crowd, and the worms!!

Around 4.30, the main event started. Thousand of people moving to the beach and… I was totally speechless. Lanterns everywhere!! Sorry if the photos kinda dark and blurry. I used compact digital camera.

That's me, the sea worms, and the crowd!! EPIC!

The sea worms are like rubber band. It’s so slippery and so hard to catch with hands! That’s why a lot of people using net to catch them. It much easier. After this, usually they eat the worms with rice. They can boil it, fried it, grilled it, or just eat it alive. I tried and it tasted funny. Kinda salty :P

The main event finished when the sunrise came up around 6am in the morning. I was running to the cliff to watch sunrise. And another breathtaking view caught on my camera!! Enjoy! And thank you for reading.

I was alone so I used self-timer mode. The result? Priceless!

Sunrise over the sea

Now, over the cliff. So beautiful :)

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