Part I

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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Unraveling the magical beauty of the mist-shrouded highlands of Dieng Plateau in Central Java, the Dieng Culture Festival 2017 will be held on 4th to 6th August 2017.

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Held annually as a community celebration, the festival presents a variety of art and cultural performances, an exhibition of Dieng's finest products, and as pinnacle of the event: the shaving off ritual of dreadlocks of kids born with this unique hair. The ceremony is known as Ruwatan anak gembel/gimbal.

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As always, the festival will be highlighted with the release of traditional lanterns, a popular (wayang kulit) leather puppet show, traditional art and cultural performances, and a fireworks fiesta. Adding sparkle to the festival will be a special Jazz performance aptly entitled Jazz above the Clouds, as well as a special dreadlock kids "ballet". The festival will also take the audience to explore the spellbinding beauty of Dieng panorama. Tourists will witness the spectacular sunrise overlooking the highlands, the morning mist surrounding the ancient temple complex, the breathtaking views of Lake Telaga Warna and the Sikidang Crater, and a whole lot more.

Being the main feature of the festival, the ritual of trimming off of dreadlocks of kids is truly exceptional. While globally dreadlock hair is commonly known as Rastafarian style from Jamaica, here in the highlands of Dieng, dreadlock, or matted hair is not a chosen style but rather a mystifying feature that only occurs in children of the Dieng plateau.

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