Thursday, 2 December 2021

The 18th Five Mountains Festival

A massive Garuda figure, made out of various materials such as bamboo, coconut leaves and salacca leaves, embodies the spirit of national unity at the 18th Five Mountains Festival in Magelang, Central Java. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

In any other evening, Tutup Ngisor village at the foot of Mount Merapi in Magelang, Central Java, is blanketed in tranquility and thick, cool mist.

Not tonight, however. The usually quiet locale is bursting with excitement as residents played traditional gamelan percussions, the sounds of which echoed throughout the surrounding hills and forests.

It was a special evening. It marked the start of the 18th Five Mountains Festival, an annual series of festivities that showcases art and culture initiated by local farmers.

This year’s festival emphasizes the theme of Gunung Lumbung Budaya, a notion that champions national identity as it is forged from many disparate cultures and values.

Traditional Soreng dancers clad in colorful, ornate costumes moments before their performance at the 18th Five Mountains Festival. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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The resin-based Buddha head installation at the 18th Five Mountains Festival emphasizes religious diversity. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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Artists involved in the 18th Five Mountains Festival march around Tutup Ngisor village while carrying a host of local crops. JP/Magnus Hendratmo

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