Bau Nyale: The Annual Sea Worms Festival in Lombok

2 Mar 2013 - 3 Mar 2013

The island of Lombok will once again celebrate the age-old tradition of Bau Nyale or catching the Sea Worms Festival in the forthcoming month of March.

This year, the festival will be concentrated around the period of Bau Nyale Poto (the End of Bau Nyale) rather than the Bau Nyale Tunggak (the start of Bau Nyale) which occurred on the end of January. The festival will centerat the Kuta Beach, in the Loteng Area, while exact dates still await confirmation which will be decided by a meeting of the council of traditional community leaders and keepers of the four cardinal directions.

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 gather to catch the Nyale along a number of Lombok’s finest beaches.The Sasak are the dominant ethnic group inhabiting the island of Lombok, in West Nusatenggara.

Held annually on the 20th day of the 10th month of the traditional Sasak Calendar, this year the festival will be highlighted with various traditional competitions such as bekayaq, cilokaq, peresean, begambus, berbalas pantun (traditional rhyme dueling competition), and boat rowing competition.  As a grand event for the people of Lombok, the Bau Nyale festival also presents various art performances, such as: the Wayang Kulit (Leather puppets Show), and the theatrical play on the legend of the Nyale Princess.

The Nyale festival is also known on the neighboring island of Sumba, where the ceremony is followed by the Pasola Jousting Festival.

For more information you can contact:
West Nusatenggara Tourism Office
Jl. Lengko 70, Mataram 21868
Telp. +62 364 21866, 21730