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The Tipat War of Bali Is What I Call a Real Food Fight

Every year the men of Kapal Village, in Bali, celebrate the rice harvest by throwing rice cakes at each other in one of the largest traditional food fights in the world.

Also known as the Aci Rah Pengangon ritual, the Tipat War is preceded by a collective prayer in the inner court of Kapal Village’s┬áPura Desa (the village temple). Here local men give thanks for the bountiful rice harvest and relax before the upcoming food massacre. After praying, dozens of bare-chested men start the first rice cake fight right in the middle of the temple courtyard. They are divided into two groups and throw tipat (cooked rice wrapped in a square shaped woven coconut leaf) at each other. This fight lasts for only five minutes and is a preliminary event to the full-scale war that is about to take place in the village street outside the temple.

Photo via Bali Sky Tour

The main event of the celebration involves hundreds of men and children of all ages throwing pieces of tipat with all their might at the opposing group. Taking a hit or two is worth it as long as you enjoy yourself, and bystanders also become victims of the rice cake war, but that’s just part of what makes it so interesting to watch. The big Tipat War lasts around 10 minutes, and ends with a feast of the ammunition. Broken pieces of tipat cakes are collected from the streets and buried in the fields for prosperity.

 

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