Kebo-Keboan Ritual, Banyuwangi

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Kebo-Keboan Ceremony - Banyuwangi, East Java

Kebo-Keboan Cultural Feast

Banyuwangi people, which are mostly farmers, have a sacred ritual to ask the blessings of salvation. The tradition known as kebo-keboan. Kebo in Java language means buffalo, the people in village are mostly use buffalo to do their rice field. And yes, this ritual use the buffalo as the meaning of its term. However, the buffaloes here are those who perform and act like buffalo in the field.

The ritual of Kebo-keboan is held once a year in the month of Muharram or Suro (in Javanese calendar). This month is believed to have magical powers. That said, this ritual emerged since the 18th century. In Banyuwangi, kebo-keboan is conserved in two places, which is in Alasmalang Village, Singojuruh District, and Aliyan Village, Rogojampi District.

The emergence of ritual kebo-keboan in Alasmalang Village begun during the epidemic season that happened to the village. At that time, all the citizens had disease attacked. The Pests are also attack plants. Many people starve and die from mysterious illness. In a precarious condition, the village elder named Mbah Karti meditating on the hill. During the meditation, he had vision. It contained, the residents were told to hold a ritual of kebo-keboan and glorify Dewi Sri or goddess of Sri, as a symbol of prosperity and rice keeper.

The magic comes when people hold the ritual. The residents who suffered any sudden illness were cured. The pests that attack rice plants were disappear. Since then, the ritual of kebo-keboan were conserved. The villagers are afraid, if it does not carry, then the village will once again being attacked by disease and curse.

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