If Jember has Jember Fashion Carnaval (JFC). Its neighbor, Banyuwangi, doesn’t want to miss out on any single fun. It was back then in 2011. When the local government decided to organize a rival event to the internationally famous JFC. The government named it Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival (BEC). This year, it will be held on November 6th.
Banyuwangi is mostly known for its famous blue fire in the Ijen crater. The city is also a transit city before tourists cross to Bali. It has a closer distance to West Bali National Park than any Bali city in South Bali. Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival, a one-day event wish to introduce Banyuwangi culture. In the hope that tourists will stay a bit longer. Eventually, exploring Banyuwangi to its core.
The nature like Alas Purwo national park. The scenic and clean white sand beach such as Green Bay beach. The famous surfing spot Red Island beach. And there are many more to offer. Which by any means is no less interesting than Bali’s.
To distinguish itself from other carnivals in the country. Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival emphasizes local identity more. Instead of assimilating foreign culture on its parade as many other carnivals do. Banyuwangi has a distinct culture compared to the rest of Java.
They have more than enough to present. It even needs 10 stages alone in 2018. Gandrung dance, Puter Kayun ritual, oncor-oncoran, osing music are among of entertaining shows to watch.
Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival Highlight
Muncar district is the largest fishing district in Indonesia. Hundreds of fishing boats docking on its shoreline. And Muncar fish market is also the largest fish market on the entire Java island. Undeniably the district holds such a significant part for Banyuwangi, economically, and culturally.
Hence in 2019, Muncar is the main theme for Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival. Expect Muncar’s cultural identity to appear in dances, fashion designs, and music. Along with other forms of arts performance during Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival.
Besides janger and jaranan, the traditional dance, they have a traditional ceremony called Petik Laut. A ritual where every year fishermen throw offerings to the sea on colorful miniature boats. At the carnival, expect to learn more about the local tradition. What’s more, the theme of the carnival will be different each year. Thus, making this event more compelling.
Fashion Show Culture Element
The luxurious costumes at Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival aren’t just costumes. Notice that every costume carries cultural meaning. Last year’s “Puter Kayun” theme is about a ritual. Where villagers ride dokar, the Javanese carriages. Heading toward Watu Dodol beach every tenth month of the lunar year.
Inspired by the ritual, the costume parade during Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival last year. Includes sea, carriages, and horses on their designs. Considering Muncar is the 2019 theme. Petik Laut’s ceremony could take the role Puter Kayun had last year.
There are also several sub-categories inspired by Banyuwangi folklore. As for traditional wedding dresses, and ceremonies like the torch parade oncor-oncoran. Some costumes even take inspiration from Banyuwangi specialty dishes and agricultural products.
Whenever there’s a big event in Banyuwangi. It sure is Gandrung dance will always make an appearance. In Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival this year. One can safely expect hundreds of Gandrung dancers will show off. As they were in the previous year.
The traditional dance Gandrung is the pride of Banyuwangi. Translated as “love” in English. Gandrung is originally a ritual dance performed to Goddes Sri as gratitude after the rice harvest. These days Gandrung is more ceremonial than ritual.
Dancers draped themselves in beautiful costumes. Coupled with a long shawl and a fan in the right hand. Watch as these dancers move around their hands gracefully. Playing the shawl and the fan in harmony as they dance. The performance is followed by Gamelan osing. A branch of traditional Javanese instrument developed by Banyuwangi’s ethnic tribe osing.
The Osing Song
Osing songs are performed in Osing language. A language is only known and spoken by the Banyuwangi people. At Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival, Osing songs are also the highlight of the festival.
Not everyone understands when an osing song is being sung. However, there’s a reason why music is a universal language. There’s no need for language comprehension to get swept away by the melody.
Handicraft & Food Bazaar
Around the Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival venue, locals are allowed to open stalls along the pedestrian. It results in a little bazaar. There are kiosks selling local products from batik to accessories to handicrafts. Food vendors offer drinks and meals to hungry spectators.
After the carnival ends, this bazaar is where to go next. Lurk around among the food stalls, especially the ones selling Banyuwangi food. Banyuwangi dishes are certainly a must-try for their uniqueness. Some menus combine two dishes in a way that even Indonesians consider them rather strange.
Rujak Soto, for example. Serves vegetable salad and green curry-like soup “soto” in one bowl. Another famous vegetable dish called “pecel” is poured with dark meat soup “rawon”. Resulting in a mix of fresh, nutty, meaty, and salty. Truly a rainbow of flavor.
Although Jember Fashion Carnival is supposed to be a rival. That doesn’t stop the two events to collaborate. Expect to welcome Jember Carnival representatives. Who will also take part as the participants of the Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival.
Other than that. The founder of Jember Fashion Carnival Dynand Fariz is responsible for the fashion show of BEC. Be among the astonished by his remarkable costume designs and choreography. Dynand Fariz himself is a talented designer. He designed and won the Best National Costume on Miss Universe 2014.
Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival Venue & Ticket
It takes not even a dime to stand among hundreds of spectators of the carnival. As the event itself is free. Mark the calendar on 27 July to not missing any of the fun. The carnival starts in Taman Blambangan. Banyuwangi’s largest public park and city square. The route is 2,2 km long and it ends at Banyuwangi Mayor Office, Ahmad Yani Street.
|Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival Venue & Ticket|
|Venue||Marina Boom Beach|
|Time||12:00 – 17:00|
Hotels are plentiful around the Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival venue. For a cheap homestay. Tourists can find a decent room with only Rp100.000-Rp150.000 per night. Restaurants mostly serve Javanese food at an affordable price. During the event, many locals would open snack and beverage stands alongside the route of the carnival.
How To Get To Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival Venue
Banyuwangi is accessible by land and air. Airline companies such as Garuda Indonesia and Citilink have direct flights to Banyuwangi’s Blimbingsari airport. By train, travelers can take Mutiara Timur Malam or Sri Tanjung train from Surabaya. Buses can also be an option, especially for tourists coming from Bali.
To get around the city, Banyuwangi conveniently has 9 public van lines. From Banyuwangi Railway Station to Taman Blambangan, first, use Line 6 to Blambangan terminal. Continue with either Line 4, 7, or 9 and stop at the park.
From Banyuwangi Bus Terminal, visitors can use public van Line 1 or 2. As for the airport, there’s a DAMRI bus line that runs regularly from the airport to Ketapang. And it passes the city center.