Karapan Sapi

Events, Indonesia Culture

Karapan Sapi

7 Jun , 2016  

Karapan sapi is an annual folk festival of the Maduranese. This requires a pair of bulls connected by wooden yoke and a plow (called kaleles) on which the jockey slash racer stands and keeps everything in balance while the beast speed up like they’re on fire. And yeah, to be the jockey requires a lot of cojones and huge amount of badassery.

Karapan sapi by Chan Kwok Hung, Hong Kong/Courtesy of National Geographic

Karapan sapi by Chan Kwok Hung, Hong Kong/Courtesy of National Geographic

Holy cow!

Karapan Sapi, or simply bull race is how Maduranese–the folks living in Madura island, off the coast of East Java–celebrate harvest time, and it’s part of their tradition that goes back as far as the 13th century.

Thousands of people flocking the venue on the D-Day, bets are made, and everyone cheers and jeers according to the bets they made.

Karapan Sapi is as much a folk festival as it is a marketplace. The race is actually a way to showcase the strength of the bull if they’re used to plow the field…hence, the kaleles. The champions will usually be auctioned off after the event and sold to the highest bidder.

The bull version of Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious, Madura Style. Courtesy of Robertus Pudyanto

Makepung: Its Bali Counterpart

Due to geographical proximity, in which many farmers from Java migrated to Northwest Bali, many of whom were Maduranese, the Balines of Melaya, Jembrana, Bali have their own version of karapan sapi, called Makepung.

It’s also held in relation to the harvest time, although in recent years it also caters as tourism attraction in the region and never fails to enter the highlighted social event of that part of Bali.

Karapan Sapi Makepung

Makepung of Jembrana. Courtesy of Maptia, Putu Sayoga

Unlike its counterpart though, in Jembrana, the jockeys stand or squat on a wheeled cart, greatly increasing  its maneuverability.

Whereas karapan sapi is a drag race, makepung is a grand prix.

Check the schedule below for the events:

Schedule of Karapan Sapi (Madura)

I BANGKALAN (District)
1 28 August 2016 Tanah Merah Sunday 09.00 AM
2 4 September 2016 Blega Sunday 09.00 AM
3 11 September 2016 Sepulu Sunday 09.00 AM
4 18 September 2016 Socah Sunday 09.00 AM
5 25 September 2016 Arosbaja Sunday 09.00 AM
 

 

II SAMPANG
1 28 August 2016 Torjun Sunday 09.00 AM
2 4 September 2016 Kedungdung Sunday 09.00 AM
3 11 September 2016 Ketapang Sunday 09.00 AM
4 18 September 2016 Sampang Sunday 09.00 AM
 

 

III PAMEKASAN
1 28 August 2016 Waru Sunday 09.00 AM
2 4 September 2016 Pegantenan Sunday 09.00 AM
3 11 September 2016 Galis Sunday 09.00 AM
4 18 September 2016 Pamekasan Sunday 09.00 AM
 

 

IV SUMENEP
1 28 August 2016 Bluto Sunday 09.00 AM
2 4 September 2016 Nonggunong Sunday 09.00 AM
3 11 September 2016 Pasongsongan Sunday 09.00 AM
4 18 September 2016 Batu Putih Sunday 09.00 AM
5 25 September 2016 Guluk-Guluk Sunday 09.00 AM
6 2 October 2015 Kota Sumenep Sunday 09.00 AM
 

 

V District Championsip
1 16 October 2016 Bangkalan Sunday 09.00 AM
2 16 October 2016 Sampang Sunday 09.00 AM
3 16 October 2016 Pamekasan Sunday 09.00 AM
4 16 October 2016 Sumenep Sunday 09.00 AM
 

 

VI Pan Madura Pageant
23 October 2016 Festival Sapi Sonok di Stadion R. Soenarto Hadiwidjojo Kabupaten Pamekasan

 

Sunday 08.00 AM
VII GRAND FINAL  Province Level
30 October 2016 Grand Final Karapan Sapi (Gubeng) for the President Cup Venue: Stadion R. Soenarto Hadiwidjojo  Pamekasan District Sunday 08.00 AM

Schedule for Makepung

1. 12 July: Delod Berawah Circuit

2. 26 July: Tuwed Circuit

3. 9 August: Mertasari Circuit (Bupati Cup)

4. 23 August: Pangkung Dalem Circuit

5. 6 September: Delod Berawah Circuit

6. 20 September: Awen Circuit

7. 4 October: Mertasari Circuit

8. 18 October: Kaliakah Circuit

9. 1 November: Delod Berawah Circuit

10. 15 November: Tuwed Circuit (Jembrana Cup – FINALS)

 

Sapi Sonok, Cow Beauty Pageant

Not only that… In the festival, there’s an event for the cow too, a beauty pageant… Sapi Sonok, Cows’ Beauty Pageant. Courtesy of Robertus Pudyanto

 

I know, right…

Cover page by Robertus Pudyanto

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