Blessings of the Sea
Petik Laut is a unique ceremony held every year in Banyuwangi
Once a year, the fishermen in and around Banyuwangi celebrate the age-old Petik Laut ceremony. The ceremony is meant to give thanks for all the blessings from the sea for this year, and pray for the safety and prosperity in the coming year. Thousands of fisherman, with their families and visitors, participate in the festival, decorating their boats with bright colors and sailing them en masse onto the Muncar sea. Once out in the water, they give offerings to the sea, usually of food, all neatly arranged in a miniature boat with various decorations. The tiny boats with the offerings are then thrown into the sea. Although originally just a local ceremony, the Petik Laut has become a major tourist attraction, drawing locals and international tourists alike.
Text and photo by Ahmad Zamroni