A rare phenomenon happened in Indonesia. On March 9th, 2016, 11 provinces in Indonesia experienced a total solar eclipse, which included Bengkulu, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bangka Belitung, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, West Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and North Maluku. Indonesia is the only country to experience a total solar eclipse in this year. This phenomenon happened at the same day during Nyepi. It is known as Bali’s celebration of the Saka New Year and the Bali Day of Silence.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun, partly or totally obscuring the view of the sun on earth. The phenomenon, which has inspired curiosity and has been associated with myths, legends and superstitions throughout history, occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight and creating dark as that of night.

Total Solar Eclipse Explanation Photo credit : http://edition.cnn.com/

Total Solar Eclipse Explanation
Photo credit : http://edition.cnn.com/

The Raego Dance

The darkness of eclipse creates beauty that enlightens the people’s heart. Seeing the scenery of the solar eclipse in the world’s greatest archipelago bonds people from different provinces, countries, ages and occupations. Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla accompanied by his wife, Mufidah, several ministers, and the Central Sulawesi governor, watched the total solar eclipse in Kotapulu, Sigi District, Central Sulawesi Province. An Eclipse Festival was also held there. It was a festival where visitors could enjoy traditional music and art performances, including Raego dance.

Total Solar Eclipse SceneryPhoto credit :  nasional.rimanews.com

Total Solar Eclipse Scenery
Photo credit : nasional.rimanews.com

 

 

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla (the one touching his mouth) Amazed Seeing Total Solar EclipsePhoto credit : www.medan.tribunnews.com

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla (the one touching his mouth) Amazed Seeing Total Solar Eclipse
Photo credit : www.medan.tribunnews.com

Raego dance is usually presented as an expression of gratitude to God for the bountiful harvest. Raego began to develop in Central Sulawesi, particularly in Kulawi tribes. It can be presented by a group, such as during Vunja (thanksgiving harvest) and Halia Todea (wedding ceremony), or by a couple, in a cultural celebration entitled Pompede Lobo (lobo inauguration, an ethic house of Kulawi). During the Eclipse Festival, Raego dance involved 40 dancers along with 10 music players.

 

Raego DancePhoto credits: http://www.metrosulawesi.com/

Raego Dance
Photo credits: http://www.metrosulawesi.com/

The Princess and The Researches

Another VIP guest who watched the phenomena was Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Thailand’s Princess. Princess Sirindhorn’s Visit to Ternate did not only focus on witnessing the eclipse, but also on enhancing education cooperation. The Thai Princess donated for the infrastructures, education utensils and equipment.

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn witnessed the total solar eclipse In Ternate.Photo credit : The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, http://www.bangkokpost.com/

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn witnessed the total solar eclipse In Ternate.
Photo credit : The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, http://www.bangkokpost.com/

The Padengko Dance

Kawani Festival was another event held to commemorate the full solar eclipse. It was organized by Poso Tourism Department in cooperation with the Institute of Monstiwu in Central Sulawesi. Kawani festival was held for 2 days. It began with the Motaro dance, a dance which is made to welcome honorable guest in the festival. Among wonderful performances, a traditional dance was performed to honor the Padengko tradition. The dancers struck a gong, which was believed by the ancestors to prevent the sun to be eaten by a giant.

Padengko DancePhoto credit : www.antarasulteng.com

Padengko Dance
Photo credit : www.antarasulteng.com

 

Besides the festival, on March 8th the public was also given space presentations and workshops by 15 Insititut Teknologi Bangung (ITB) lecturers through 4 telescopes. During the D- Day, which is March 9th, 5000 special sunglasses were given out for free.

The Ampera Bridge

Euphoria and excitement were what the people got when they visited Palembang. Starting from March 8th, they were thrilled by the giant Ogoh-ogoh1)Ogoh-ogoh is a giant doll which is made to symbolize negative human being or creature which is made of of light materials such as the combination of wood, bamboo, paper, and Styrofoam. It is identical to Nyepi Day in Bali since it is paraded during Pengrupukan Night, a day before Saka New Year/Nyepi Day. along with the Kecak Dance performance. In the evening, people could participate in the Glowing Night Run, a sport tourism event. On March 9th people were able to enjoy various breakfast menus from Ampera Bridge while listening to saxophone melody. Under the Ampera Bridge, theatrical shows about the Dragon that Eat the Sun myth were held. In order to increase people participation to watch the total solar eclipse, a selfie photo competition was conducted. The event became more interesting when a thousand balloons and lampions were released.

Ampera bridge, Palembang ‘s trademarkPhoto credit : http://news.liputan6.com

Ampera bridge, Palembang ‘s trademark
Photo credit : http://news.liputan6.com

Ogoh-ogohPhoto credit: http://berita.suaramerdeka.com/

Ogoh-ogoh
Photo credit: http://berita.suaramerdeka.com/

 

The Dayak Tribe

One of the famous tribes in Borneo is Dayak. It is known for its unique tattoos and costumes. On March 9, 2016, they performed a ritual tradition called Balian Ba Ampar-Ampar ritual, which included traditional music, exotic mantras, and offerings of flowers and incense to ensure the sun, the light of life, would not vanish.

The Balian Ba Ampar-Ampar RitualPhoto credit : http://poskotanews.com/

The Balian Ba Ampar-Ampar Ritual
Photo credit : http://poskotanews.com/

Benua Patra and Manggar Beace became the center of the total solar eclipse observation. Several telescopes were provided in Bena Patra Beach, while in Manggar Beach, a stage concert was held, entertaining people from morning until twilight. A culinary feast which provided seafood dinner, dragon boat races, and bazaars were organized.

Total solar eclipse contributed to the development not only of astronomy but also humanity, art, and culture.

 

References:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/13/world/asia/solar-eclipse-australia-explained/

https://blibur.com/blog/tempat-wisata/10-tempat-yang-wajib-dikunjungi-saat-gerhana-matahari-total-2016/

http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/01/28/114740082/Ternates-Legu-Gam-Festival-to-Start-Earlier

http://lampost.co/berita/ritual-balian-ba-ampar-ampar-sambut-gmt-palangkaraya

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/07/thousands-flock-to-indonesia-for-total-solar-eclipse

http://regional.liputan6.com/read/2416763/cerita-naga-sungai-musi-keluar-saat-gerhana-matahari-total

http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/education/completely-off-charts-indonesia-prepares-march-9-eclipse/

http://www.lensaterkini.web.id/2016/03/5-festival-sambut-gerhana-matahari.html

http://lifestyle.okezone.com/read/2016/02/29/406/1323805/balikpapan-sambut-gerhana-matahari-total

http://www.baligoldentour.com/ogoh-ogoh.phphttp://www.balihomeland.net/2011/02/meaning-of-ogoh-ogoh/

 

By Anggi Nurqonita, ASEAN Correspondent from Indonesia

 

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1. Ogoh-ogoh is a giant doll which is made to symbolize negative human being or creature which is made of of light materials such as the combination of wood, bamboo, paper, and Styrofoam. It is identical to Nyepi Day in Bali since it is paraded during Pengrupukan Night, a day before Saka New Year/Nyepi Day.