An erupting volcano has not prevented Tenggerese people from performing their annual ceremony, which involves climbing to the rim of Mount Bromo’s crater and delivering offerings like goats, chicken, and vegetables to the Hindu Gods.

The ceremony dates back to the 15th century when a childless couple – ancestors of the Tenggerese – prayed to God to be given children. God gave them 25 children, and in return, they sacrificed the youngest. Since then, once a year during a full moon, the Tenggerese hold what is called the Kasada Ceremony to honor the sacrifice of the youngest son of their ancestors.

This year, however, Mount Bromo is erupting and the government has warned religious Hindus to stay at least 1 kilometre from the crater. Only 20 priests are allowed to go up to the crater to throw offerings. The warning has been completely ignored.

The Tenggerese people believe the mountain will not harm them. But if they do not perform the ceremony, they fear bad things will fall upon them, such as a failed harvest, a pandemic, or even worse. So, starting in the dark, they walked up the steep slope of the erupting volcano, to stand on the rim of the crater and give their offerings.

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