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Bull Race in Bali
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Bull Race in Bali

Makepung is an age-old tradition of buffalo racing that has been passed down through generations in Jembrana, one of the eight regency cities in West Bali. This unique form of racing, almost similar to Karapan Sapi in Madura, originated from a game that farmers played in their spare time after the rice harvest. During this game, the farmers would compete with each other by racing their buffalos across the fields.

Makepung has a slightly different set of rules when compared to Karapan Sapi or other racing activities. The unique rule in Makepung is that the winner of the race is not only determined by the buffalo that crosses the finish line first, but also by the distance it keeps with the other participants. In other words, a participant will be considered a winner if they reach the finish line first and keep a distance of at least 10 meters from the participants behind them.

The Makepung race is usually held between July and November, which is the peak of the rice harvest season in Bali. The buffalos are adorned with vibrant colors, bells, and other decorations, making it a sight to behold. The race takes place on a 2-kilometer track, and the buffalos are ridden by skilled jockeys who guide them to the finish line.

Makepung is not just a race; it is also a cultural tradition that brings the community together. The locals take great pride in their buffalos and often spend months preparing them for the race. The event attracts visitors from all over Bali and beyond, making it an important part of the island's cultural heritage.

 

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