Festival Pasola Sumba

Festival Pasola Sumba

Festival Pasola Sumba is a game war of two opposed troupes on horseback and they throw each other with wooden spears in a vast savannah in the Island of Sumba. Pasola is in fact a part of the rituals of Marapu belief (local religion of the Sumba people). In Marapu belief, the most important element is to maintain the harmony between men and their ancestors because it is these ancestors that will bring fertility and prosperous for the people. So, Pasola is usually held as the peak of Nyale Traditional Festival which is a tradition to ask for blessing from the gods and spirits of the ancestors so that the next harvest will be a success. The time to organize Pasola depends a lot to the calculation of the elderly figures (locally called Rato) and these elderly figures interpret natural signs including the moon orbit. Their calculation has never been wrong, so they say. This is not without proof; every day during the Pasola event, at the beach there are usually lots and lots of worms (sea worms) that signify that the game will start. In Christian calendar, Pasola is between February and March held in some places in West Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara.

Read also : Sumba Tour

What is Pasola

In this challenging and risky game tourists can directly see two groups of “Sumbanese Knights” who face each other, and they ride their horses at full speed throwing spears to the adversary. They are not only skilled in riding a horse and throwing spears, they are also so skillful to avoid the spears thrown by their opponent. In this game, the participants have prepared special spear of 1.5 meter-long and 1.5 centimeters in diameter. Despite the fact that the weapon was secured to be blunt, this game cannot avoid some injuries to the participants. The blood dropped in this arena is considered useful for the fertility of the land and the affluent of the harvest. Whereas when casualties happen, they will be regarded as being punished by gods because they have done a violation. The participants wounded by spears – if possible – are allowed to take revenge on the enemy in the arena. In the situation where the game is over but some participants still need to satisfy their self to fight the enemies with spears, they should be patient to wait until the next year’s Pasola. Pasola does not teach people to be resentful, let alone taking revenge outside the Pasola arena. Pasola is not just about physical game, but also representing the devoutness of the Marapu followers in carrying out their ancestor’s custom and tradition. Due to its sacred nature, before it starts, the elderly figures perform a meditation and fasting to ask for blessing to the ancestor and gods. Other than being sacred in nature, Pasola also functions as the unifying element of the Sumba people.

Where is Pasola

Pasola is usually held in four villages in West Sumba Regency. Those four villages are Kodi, Lamboya, Wanokaka and Gaura Village. One of the four villages will host the event every year.

How to go to Festival Pasola

To see Pasola, tourists do not have to pay for anything but they have to go as far as the West Sumba Regency situated in Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara. To get to the Sumba Island, tourists can fly to Mauhau Airport, the capital city of East Sumba Regency from a number of big cities in Indonesia. If you depart from Jakarta, the plane will transit in Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar, Bali. From there you will continue to fly to Waingapu. In this city you will find a sea port where you can look for a ship of the Indonesian National Shipping Company (Pelni) to sail to Sumbawa, the Island of Flores and the island of Timor. From Waingapu tourists can use public transportation such as bus or travel bus to get to the location of Pasola in West Sumba Regency.

Festival Pasola Sumba Tour Itinerary

Day 1: West Sumba (D)

Arriving at Tambolaka Airport, you will be welcomed by our guide. After that, you will go to the local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, you will go to Rumah Budaya. In this cultural house, you will be introduced to the history of Sumba. After that, you will go to Bukit Lendongara. In this hill you will be treated to a view of the hills overgrown with grass like that of a teletubis film. And continue to Mananga Aba Beach or Kita Beach. On this beach, you will be treated to a wide stretch of white sand and a quiet and calm beach atmosphere. After that, you will have dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, check in the hotel for a break.

Day 2: West Sumba (B / L-Box / D)

After breakfast, you will be invited to see the Pasola program until evening and free program. After that, you will have dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, return to the hotel to rest.

Day 3: West Sumba (B / L-Box / D)

After breakfast, you will be invited for a full day tour starting from Tanjung Mareha. At Tanjung Mareha you can see the beauty of 2 beaches, namely Watu Maladong Beach and Bwana Beach. After that, you will go to Pero Beach. And proceed to Lake Waekuri. Waekuri Lake is one of the landmarks of Sumba, a very large lake and the water is brackish water. After that, you will have dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, return to the hotel to rest.

Day 4: East Sumba-East Sumba (B / L-Box / D)

After breakfast, you will check out from West Sumba and you will go to Praijing Village. This Praijing village is the most famous traditional village in West Sumba. In this village there are 38 traditional Sumba houses. After that, you will go to Lapopu Waterfall. Tejun Lapopu Water is the highest waterfall in NTT. And proceed to Wairinding Hill. Wairinding Hill is one of the best places to enjoy East Sumba from a height. The vast expanse of savanna fields is yellow during the dry season and is green during the rainy season. After that, you will go to Walakiri Beach. On this beach you will be treated to a row of coconut trees on the edge, with a vast expanse of white sand and blue sea and on the west there are neatly arranged mangrove trees which can be used as the best photo spot. And after that, you will have dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, check in the hotel for a break.

Day 5: East Sumba (B)

After breakfast, you will check out and you will be invited to visit the center of a typical Sumba souvenir shop. And after that, you will visit the Brotherhood Hill. On this hill you will be treated to a view of the hills and rice fields of the population which stretches out beautifully. And after that, you will be escorted to the airport and the trip will be finished.

Note: – It is recommended to arrive at Tambolaka at 11:45 and go home from Waingapu at 11:40

Price Included

  • Land transportation (Air conditioned) during the tour
  • Toyota Innova max. 6 people in 1 car
  • Accommodation 2 nights in West Sumba and 1 night in East Sumba (twin / triple share)
  • Eat according to the program
  • Tourist tickets
  • Mineral water
  • Guide as driver

Price Not Included

  • Flight ticket
  • Tipping guide
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses outside of the program package
  • Additional food & drinks outside of the menu provided
  • Laundry, telephone users and hotel facilities that are paying outside of the package provided