The Balinese people have their own relationship with nature. If something is off with the weather, they can communicate with spirits and ask for their help. Even for the dry season, which has already burdened farmers with the need to transport water for irrigation in barrels, there is a ritual.
In Karangasem, in October - November, the tradition of "Gebug Ende" takes place, during which local residents summon rain. The ceremony is held in the village of Seraya.
During times of drought, the villagers engage in battles with rattans.
This tradition dates back to the time when residents of Seraya were recruited into the armies of the Karangasem kingdom to attack the Selaparang kingdom on Lombok. During those times, the people of Seraya were considered strong, resilient, and possessed valuable knowledge. That's why they were at the forefront of the army.
However, even after Karangasem emerged victorious over Selaparang and established control, the fighting spirit of the people of Seraya could not be calmed. So, the villagers began to fight each other using improvised weapons. And thus, the tradition of "Gebug Ende" was born.
The ritual itself begins with prayers and offerings. Battles follow, where villagers showcase their skills. Two men engage in a duel armed with poles measuring 1.5 - 2 meters, which they use to strike opponents while defending themselves with round rattan shields.
The word "gebug" means "to strike the opponent," and "ende" means "shield."
Contest participants wear traditional Balinese attire with a headscarf or a red ribbon, which symbolizes the human soul. During the duel, participants take off their shirts and put on gloves.
The battle is accompanied by the music of a traditional gamelan orchestra, further invigorating the gathered crowd. The duel lasts for a few minutes and is supervised by a special referee.
Balinese people believe that it would be better if someone gets injured and draws blood during the fight. In this case, it is believed that rain will come soon.