Pasola Festival in Sumba

Pasola Festival in  SumbaPasola is the name of ancient war ritual war festival by two groups of selected Sumbanese men. They riding their colorful decorated selected horses fling wooden spears at each other. This traditional ceremony held in the way of uniquely and sympathetically traditional norms, every year.

The festival occurs during February or March in Lamboya and Kodi. The main activity starts several days after the full moon and coincides with the yearly arrival to the shore of strange, and multihued sea worms - Nyale. The precise date of the event decided by Rato which is announced one or two weeks before the festival.

Pasola is derived from the word Sola or Hola meaning a kind of a long wooden stick used as a spear to fling each other by two opponent groups of horsemen. The horses use for this ritual are usually ridden by braves and skilled selected men wearing traditional customs.

The people of Sumba believe that the ritual has a very close link to the habit of the people since it arranges the behavior and the habit of the people so that the balanced condition between the physical - material needs and the mental - spiritual needs can be easily created; or in other words the ritual is believed to be able to crystallize the habit and the opinion of the people so that they can live happily both in earth and in heaven. In addition to it, Pasola is also believed to have close relation to the activity in agriculture field, therefore any bloodshed (of sacrificial cattle or men participating in the game) is considered the symbol of prosperity that must exist.
Without blood Pasola mean nothing to them. Those who died in the Pasola arena are believed to have broken law of tradition the fasting month.Pasola that always takes risks, however, is acceptable by the people in a very hospitable way and sportive