Culture & Heritage
14 August is marked sacred for the Lio People of Flores. It is the time to celebrate and to honor their ancestors. Lio People believe the Kelimutu Crater Lake is the soul’s final resting place. The place where we all return once our lives’ journeys come to an end. ”Pati Ka Du’a Bapu Ata Mata” is the event where the Lio sacrifices various type of foods offering to the ancestors, showing their gratitude for the past year and hold prayers for blessings for the coming year.
Annually, hundreds of people hold a pilgrimage journey up to Kelimutu. Starting from 2013, this customary ritual was officially hosted and organized under the coordination of Kelimutu National Park and the Ende’s Culture and Tourism Department.
The procession starts with the communal preparation and gathering at the national park parking lot, followed by the ascending trek up the mountain to Tiwo Ata Polo Crater Lake where a stone altar (Mesbah) is situated. This altar is where all the food offerings are presented and it becomes the centre for the whole ritual performances throughout the day. Chants and prayers accompanying the rite with hundreds of people absorbed in the wake. Once the customary ritual is concluded, people flock back down to the starting point where a series of cultural performances are held.
This is surely an experience that is worth taking part of if you are in Flores on the 14th of August.