The island of Lombok in the West Nusa Tenggara Province will once again celebrate the age-old tradition of Bau Nyale, a folk festival that celebrates the annual appearance of the Nyale sea worms when hordes of people flock to the sea to catch these rare creatures. This year celebrations will be centered along Seger Beach at Lombok's Kuta village in the Pujut district on 16th to 17th February 2017.
This unique tradition is held annually on the 20th day of the 10th month in the traditional Sasak Calendar, which falls around February each year. Bau in the Lombok language means "to-catch" and Nyale is a type of sea worm that surfaces only around this time of the year. Therefore, Bau Nyale is the festive ceremony when large crowds catch the Nyale along a number of Lombok's finest beaches.
For the people on the beautiful island of Lombok, the Bau Nyale Festival is an age-old tradition that is closely linked to the legend of Princess Mandalika.
According to local legend, Princess Mandalika of the Tunjung Beru kingdom was very beautiful. Her father, King Seg held a contest for young men to fight for his daughter's hand in marriage. However, Mandalika herself was opposed to fighting and bloodshed between kingdoms in her name. So she plunged herself into the sea, advising the community in Lombok to live in peace and promised to return on the 20th day of the 10th month in the Sasak calendar. On that long-awaited day, only the glowing Nyale worms could be seen everywhere in the sea and so the people believe that the worms are the reincarnation of Princess Mandalika.
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