Krakatau Festival: Lampung, Sumatra

Kite-flying at popular Mount Krakatau, fishing in Kiluan Bay and a Japanese couple’s wedding ceremony atop elephants are just some of the highlights of the 2007 Krakatau Festival, which kicks off in Lampung province Thursday.

Participants of the festival, which will continue through to Aug. 30, will also be able to witness traditional Lampung arts performances, buy handicrafts or join the International Kite Festival.

The Krakatau kite-flying event, which will be held July 25, is part of the international kite festival.

“Several world-renowned kite enthusiasts will join the event,” said Anshori Djausal, chairman of the Indonesian Kite Association in Lampung.

He said the International Kite Festival itself would be held at three places in Lampung; the Bandarlampung city forest, Kalianda resort in South Lampung and on Krakatau island.

“Participants can enjoy fishing in the waters around Mount Krakatau while flying kites,” Anshori said.

He said the volcano was selected to host the international festival since the mountain, which is located in the middle of the Sunda Strait, is known around the world.

“The mountain is Lampung’s icon. Even in European countries, the volcano is better known than Lampung itself.”

The festival will also include an aerial photography event on July 24-25 at Kalianda resort.

A kite-making workshop for children will be held July 22-23, while an exhibition of various forms and colors of kites is scheduled for July 22-25.

Anshori said the festival will also include exhibitions of kites from several regions around the country.

He said foreign participants could take part in the International Kite Festival in Lampung on July 22-25, before going to other regions to watch other kite exhibitions.

A kite exhibition will be held in Padang, West Sumatra, on July 28 and another in August in Kendari, South Sulawesi, and Bali.

“Before going to Lampung, foreign participants can take part in a kite exhibition at Ancol beach, in Jakarta, from July 20-22,” he said.

The annual Krakatau Festival involves many communities. The event will also involve the Cikal Foundation, which has organized the upcoming Kiluan Fishing Week, from Aug. 10-17.

Cikal’s coordinator, Rico Stevanus, said tourists from Finland, Switzerland and England have expressed interest in taking part in the fishing event.

“Fishermen have even prepared their homes, so tourists can stay overnight. Participants will also be able to enjoy grilled fish along the shore,” he said.

Head of Lampung Tourism Office, Suresmi Ramli, said the 17th Krakatau Festival will also feature the wedding of a Japanese couple in Lampung tradition, while riding a pair of elephants.

The wedding will be held on Aug. 25 at Way Halim sports center in Bandarlampung. The Japanese couple want to get married according to Lampung custom.

“They want the wedding ceremony to take place while they ride atop elephants.”

Lampung Arts Council secretary-general, Harry Djayaningrat, said the Lampung Art Festival will also be held as part of the Krakatau Festival.

Oyos Saroso H.N.