Perang Topat – A Truly Different Kind of War

Perang Ketupat. Photo by @ppid_lobar

“A war that symbolises Peace, Love, and Harmonious living between Islam and Hindu in Lombok.”

Perang Topat – A fun war between Hindu and Islam in Lombok. Photo @aditralfath

Lombok’s Perang Topat ritual is an annual cultural event held during the Pujawali ceremony for Hindu in Lombok as well as to celebrate the Maulid Nabi (The birth of Prophet Muhammad SAW) for Islam, which normally fall on the 3rd week of November or first week of December, and take place at the Lombok’s oldest temple ‘Pura Lingsar’ (built in 1714).

Pura Lingsar – The oldest Hindu temple in Lombok. Built in 1714. Photo @aditralfath

This hundreds of years old ritual symbolise the harmonious living between the two religions in Lombok.

Sasak cultural parade – Islam. Photo by @aditralfath

The war begins with mass prayers done by both religions followed by a series of cultural performances like Cupak Gerantang dance, Peresean dance (Stick fight), Keliningan Kaoq (Buffalo parade), cultural costume parade, Balinese traditional music and dance performances which normally take up to 7 days until the H-day.

Balinese cultural parade – Hindu. Photo by @aditralfath

* Cupak Gerantang Dance is a theatrical drama and dance performance played by two people wearing a mask that represent the good character and bad character.

Cupak Gerantang Theatrical Dance. Photo by:

* Peresean is an ancient martial art performed by two men armed in rattan stick. It’s originated from the ancient Sasak ritual to wish for land fertility. The duel will be considered done once one of the two fighters gets his head bloodied and the blood fell to the ground. It is also oftenly conducted to prove that a boy has turned into a young man and ready to get married.

Peresean – Stick fight. Photo by @aditralfath

* Keliningan Kaoq is a parade held by the two religions, Islam and Hindu. Why Buffalo? Both religions have chosen buffalo because the cow is prohibited for some people in Hindu and Pig is prohibited in Islam. The two buffalo will be slaughtered and then shared with all of the community.

Pengelinian Kao (Buffalo parade). Photo by @jepretlombok

Participants will be divided into 3 to 4 groups to occupy the main yard of the temple, then, at the signal of leaders from both religions who read the sign by monitoring the fallen of Kembang Waru (Hibiscus tiliaceus / Cottonwood hibiscus) as the time to start the war, one group from inside the temple area will start throwing Ketupat (rice packed in a woven coconut leaves)  to the group at the outside and everyone from all groups will start throwing each other. Not only Ketupat, but there is also fried or grilled chicken and boiled eggs.

Perang Ketupat. Photo by @ppid_lobar

As the war ended, both religions will do a few other religious rituals and prayers wishing for the good fortune for the entire community.

Photo by @ppid_lobar


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