Delivering gratitude can be conducted in various ways. In coastal area of East Java, for example, fishermen express their gratitude and ask for protection to God through Petik Laut tradition.
Petik Laut commonly takes place when west season with rough wind ends and the event also indicates the early time for fishermen to go sailing. The tradition starts with the creation of offerings conducted by village elders in form of crops, jewelries, yellow turmeric rice, fruits, and a rooster. The offerings are placed on a small boat beautifully decorated and brought to the beach.
A vessel carrying the small boat sails at sea followed by several vessels behind it. In the middle of sea, a village elder on the vessel throws the small boat to sea and people in those vessels race to get the offerings.
As the time goes on, several regions in East Java including Lamongan and Banyuwangi do not use offerings anymore. It is replaced with Koran recitation, tahlil prayers, and shadow puppet shows delivering noble messages. Even though Petik Laut tradition is different in every region, the event can still attract people to come.
Not only is it a ritual for coastal people in East Java, but Petik Laut can also attract either domestic or foreign tourists so this tradition still exists until now. Through Petik Laut, human especially fishermen are expected to utilize natural resources as optimal as possible and to maintain marine preservation for next generations. If you are having holidays in East Java, take your time to join this amazingly festive coastal party.
Video: Petik Laut in Sumenep, East Java (youtube.com)
Source: compiled from various sources
Writer: M. Hafiz Furqon