Torch War

on . Posted in Tourism

The traditional ceremony “Obor-oboran” is one of traditional ceremonies owned by the  society of Jepara regency, especially Tegal Sambi vilagge Tahunan district, which is the only one in Central Java and maybe in Indonesia.
Torch (obor) in the ceremony is made by two or three roll of banana mid-rit and filled with dry leaves of banana (Javanese: klaras)
The prepared torches are burnt together in order to be used as attacker. The bumped torches make a big red hot, eventually people call it “ Perang Obor” (Torch War ).


The traditional ceremony Perang Obor, which is per formed at Pahing Monday in the night of Pon Tuesday in the month of Dzulhijah every year, it is held by the tegal Sambi villagers basic faith of the past event happened in the village.It is said that in the 16th century there was a rich farmer named Mbah Kyai Babadan in Tegal Sambi village. He has a lot of cattle, especially buffalo and cow.
IIt was impossible for him to look after the castle by himself, so he looked for and got a shepherd named Ki Gemblong. Ki Gemblong was very diligent in looking after those animals. He bathed them in a river every morning and evening, consequently the cattle grew healthy and fat. Kyai Babadan felt so happy and flattered Ki Gemblong for his diligence and obedience in tacking after the cattle.
One day, Ki Gemblong was looking  after cattle in a river side of  Kembangan when he saw many fish and shrimps in the river. Without waiting any longer, he caught the fish and shrimps, cooked and ate them in stable.
After that Ki Gemblong caught the fish and shrimps almost everyday. He forgot about his duty as a shepherd. As the result, the buffaloes and cows become weak and sick even death. This condition made Kyai babadan confused. He tried to heal his cattle by magic formulas but it didn’t work.
Finally Kyai Babadan found out the reason why his cattle become weak and sick. It was because Ki Gemblong liked to catch some fish and shrimps to be cooked and eaten more than looked after those animals.
Kyai Babadan was so angry. Finding Ki Gemblong cooked the fish, Kyai Babadan hit Ki Gemblong with a torch made by coconut palm. Ki Gemblong also took the some torch to face Kyai Babadan.
The torch war finally began. The fire from the torch spread everywhere and burnt up stubble next to the stable. The fire made the buffaloes and cows run away and unexpectedly the sick animals healed even where able to stand upright and ate in the field.
Tegalsambi villagers finally accepted the unexpected and amazing event as a miracle, that by the torch war all disease would be healed.
Nowadays, the traditional ceremony “Perang Obor” in used as away of sedekah bumi, (as) an expression of thanks to god for his mercy to the Tegalsambi villager. The ceremony is held once a year

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