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The Legend of Mount Bromo

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Mount Bromo, together with Mount Tengger and Mount Semeru, is one of the most beautiful places of interest in East Java. Watching the sun rises from the crest of Mount Bromo is a very exciting experience for the tourists coming to this mountain. To reach the area, which is about 2392 m above sea level, people usually take a bus or a car as far as the village of Ngadisari. From there, a pony ride will take tourists to the rim of the mountain. It is an active volcano, and the people from surrounding areas bring various things as a sacrifice to the fire god, Betoro Bromo.

The legend goes as follows: Hundreds of years ago, during the reign of the last king of MajapahitBrawijaya, one of the King’s wives gave birth to a girl, who was named Roro Anteng. Later this young princess married Joko Seger, who came from a Brahman caste. Because of an unfortunate situation the couple was forced to leave the kingdom. They settled down in the mountain area. They ruled the area and named it “Tengger“, which was derived from the couples’ names: Roro Anteng and Joko Seger.

After several years the region flourished in prosperity, but Roro Anteng and Joko Segerwere unhappy because they did not have a child. Frustrated, they climbed the top of the mountain and prayed night and day hoping that the gods would listen. The prayer was heard and Betoro Bromo promised them many children. However, the couple had to promise that they would sacrifice their youngest child in return.

Roro Anteng gave birth to a child, then another, and another. In the end Roro Antengand Joko Seger got 25 children. Soon it was time for them to sacrifice the youngest child, Kesuma, but the parents just could not do it. They tried to hide the child, but an eruption happened and Kesuma fell into the crater. There was silence before they heard a voice: “I have to be sacrificed so that you will all stay alive. From now on, you should arrange an annual offering ceremony on the 14th of Kesodo (the twelfth month of Tenggerese calender.”It was Kesuma‘s voice. Kesuma‘s brothers and sisters held the offering ceremony every year. Instead of a human being, these people collected fruit, vegetables, rice and meat to be offered to the gods. And this has been done generation after generation until today.

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