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ERAU FESTIVAL

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Place of festival is Tenggarong town, Mahakam River, Province of East Kalimantan ( East Borneo ) Date Unfixed, around end of September every year, can only be known around 6 months in advance. Purpose of festival is ethnic consolidation. This city is on the bank of the biggest river in Kalimantan, that is Mahakam river. Based on an inscription carved in Palava scripts on a stone pillar ( Yupa ) it is mentioned that during 4th Century AD there was a triumphant kingdom bearing the king's names of strongly Sanskrit names and ritual of sacrificing a thousands cows. From all kings ever ruled the kingdoms one bearing the name of local which is believed to be the local figure taking over the country.

Today Tenggarong town can be said that it is the remnants of ever flourishing Dayak country in East Kalimantan. The Dayak spreads over all Kalimantan island especially along the valley of rivers. Tenggarong and Mahakam river is a monument for the unity of Indonesian territory in the past with much the same cultural aspects to other parts of Indonesia before the arrival of Muslim and Christianity. Looking from the terminologies using in the feast we will be remained about Bali. Most of them are the same with strong nuances of Hindu but with different activity. Tenggarong town is closed to two modern city of East Kalimantan such as Samarinda, a port city and center of forestry products, and Balikpapan a mining city with total population about 450.000 now become the gate of Kalimantan. Expatriates are mostly living in Balikpapan employed in the mining industries spreading both around the city and further north to the islands.

Today based on the guidance of Sultanate of Kutai, the event has been organized as the following procedures:  Opening Ceremony: During the opening ceremony it is normally opened by local government, and attended by all invitees and participants. This is celebrated with mass dance from all Dayak groups on the square of Tenggarong town. The Main Activity:   1. Menjamu Benua, is ritual activity participated by the whole crowed, invitees, and government officers of East Kalimantan. The purpose is to request the blessing of god so the whole process of the feast will be no slightest objection. At this stage there is also reception of all government dignitaries and palace members to report the preparation of the activity for the next day. 2 Mendirikan Ayu, is a “tepung tawar” is a symbol of cleaning and blessing by sweeping flour of “ Tepung tawar” to the hand of the government dignitaries and invitees. “Tepung Tawar” is made of rice flour mixed with betel leaves pounded into flour. Symbolically this ritual means to clean all the evil spirits and delight it with all positive way. This ceremony is conducted by a ritual leader called “Dewa” 3. Barong Tua, is a ceremony to clean the relics of ancestors which is preserved in the museum of Mulawarman in Tenggarong. These relics are in the form of: A rope called “tali juwita” made of material like silk, and symbolizes Mahakam river with its' tributaries, an ancient golden necklace, called “Uncal” and in the world only exist 2, one is in Kutai, and one in India, a dagger with long sharp pointed face called “Buritkang”, a percussion music instrument called “Gong Raden Galuh”, a Portuguese cannon, · and an other Portuguese cannon called “Gunung Sari”, a set of traditional Javanese music instruments brought by the prince from Java when he was studying in Yogyakarta, called “Gamelan Eyang Ayu” and other heritages from the past. 4. Kutai Traditional Arts.During this time it is performed and demonstrated traditional dances from groups of Dayak, and traditional Kutai arts, 5. Menyisiki Lembu Suwana and Tambak Karang. “Lembu Suwana” is an imaginary creature with the body of cow, elephant head, and has birds' wings. This creature is the symbol of God Wishnu's mount. This creature is presented to the public before it is brought out of the feast area, 6. Beluluh, take bath to sweep out all the evil spirits and physical materials that could affect the human mind, 7. Bekanjur and Beganjur, boys and girls dancing after the coronation of the prince, 8. Seluang mudik, is a welcome ceremony to the soldiers returning from war, 9. Belian bekenjong, an action of a shaman or traditional medician to cure one or kick out evil spirits, 10. Merebahkan Ayu, Beburay and Belimbur. Before finishing the ritual the people are sprouting water to each other, 11. Ziarah to Makam Aji Imbut. Aji Imbut is a figure known among Kutai as the founder of Kutai Kertanegara, a much later kingdom of Kutai. The name Aji ( not Haji ) without [H] at the first alphabet remind us about the Hindu tradition of Bali, that around 12th century some kings used the title Aji. During this event the people of Kutai visit his tomb to show homage.

For 5 nights without stop there are various activities are shown on the stage such as: 1. Folk dances, 2. Traditional Dayak Music and Songs, 3. Dayak traditional sport competition or contest, to mention a few of them are: Decorated kite playing and Kite fighting. Each contestant give crumb of glass along the thread and try to cut kite's thread each other, until one of them cut off and his kite floating uncontrolled to follow the trade of the wind, Bahempas is a fighting contest using pole of rattan and woven shield, Menyumpit, is shooting object by blowing a bamboo or wooden pipe filled with bullet, Begasing, is a children game made of wood which can wind fast making the wood standing as long as the energy of winding is still with the wood, Traditional boat competition with 15 rowers ( paddlers ) Enggang, is walking with 2 poles with legs without touching land, Bahempas bantal, is a fighting contest done on a horizontal bamboo pole and hit each other with pillow, Gulat bubur, is a wrestling in the mud, and sill many interesting tribal activities can be seen.

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Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.