“Held in Jembrana, West Bali, Makepung is a fascinating festival where the finest buffaloes compete in an annual circuit race.”

Dance, art, culture, spiritual trance, chicken fight, you think you’ve seen and know it all. In fact, Bali has so much more to offer in term of festivity, such as Makepung buffalo race. Derived from the base word of kepung,meaning ‘chase’, similar to the expression ‘steeplechase’,

shutterstock_91789142Makepung is one of the unique traditions stemmed from the agrarian life scene of the island, and is a widely enjoyed event in the regency of Jembrana, West Bali. Makepung is basically a major grand prix held around July to November in which hundreds of pairs of buffaloes are teamed up together with their jockeys riding the traditional wooden ploughs that are slightly modified for the competition.

makepungThese buffaloes-called ‘kerbau pepadu’, compete in various open race circuits in assorted heats around the district of Melaya, leading up to the finals, officially entitled the Governor Cup. On the race day, the bovines will also compete to gain the ‘bestdressed’ awards, creating another fascinating sight for the spectators as all buffaloes are dressed up fashionably with various ornaments from horn to horn. The races itself will last for five hours, with the buffaloes divided into three racing divisions.

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