The Indonesian Ritual That Takes Place On An Active Volcano

Published June 21, 2016
Updated February 26, 2018

The Yadnya Kasada Festival at Mount Bromo has worshipers toss goods into a volcano, but not many sacrifices make it to the bottom.

TO SOME, THE BEST WAYS TO PREVENT DISEASE and disaster are to make regular visits to the doctor and purchase insurance. To certain communities in Indonesia, it’s by throwing all of your worldly possessions into the mouth of an active volcano.

Mount Bromo

Ulet Ifansasti/Getty ImagesA villager tries to catch offerings thrown by Hindu worshippers at the crater of Mount Bromo during the Yadnya Kasada Festival.

Each June, the Hingu Tenggerese people of Probolinggo East Java, Indonesia celebrate the month-long Yadnya Kasada festival. On the festival’s 14th day, the Tenggerese make their way to the ridges of Mount Bromo, an active volcano. There, the worshipers hurl their worldly possessions (including crops and livestock) into the mouth of the volcano, in an effort to free the community from disease and natural disasters.

Villagers Offer Up Gifts To Volcano As Part Of Yadnya Kasada Festival

Ulet Ifansasti/Getty ImagesA Tenggerese worshipper stands at Mount Bromo’s ‘Sea of Sand’ during the Yadnya Kasada Festival on August 12, 2014 in Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia.

Some rather opportunistic villagers don’t buy into the ritual, however. Instead of tossing in their possessions, these villagers actually enter the volcano in an attempt to cash in on one of the world’s most outlandish rituals of material sacrifice.

Here’s what that looks like — along with some information on the festival’s origin story — below:

Mount Bromo
Misty Mountain
Walking Women
Harsh Conditions
The Indonesian Ritual That Takes Place On An Active Volcano
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Next, check out more stunning travel photography and learn about Mongolia's eagle hunting festival.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.