Last year Aniruddha in-laws traveled to Indonesia and Thailand and brought him some cards as a gift. There's no better gift to postcrossers than cards!! Aniruddha decided to send me an indonesian card showing a beautiful girl during the Mapeed procession at the annual Bali Arts Festival Opening Parade.
Mapeed features women and children carrying towering fruit and flower offerings on their heads.
Mapeed costumes are carefully colour coordinated, and female participants normally wear a yellow wrap-around kamben covered by a white outer piece of cloth; the kebaya is often also white, symbolizing purity. Children of mums who are in the mapeed are dressed up and lead the procession, with the shortest at the front through to the tallest at the back. Married women do their hair is a style called sanggul, with the unmarried women a half-sanggul.
Meticulously timed and coordinated, the procession may consist of either a single or a double file, sometimes stretching up to 100 metres or more in length. Mapeed is normally organised by the village with its people informed by way of a formal letter many weeks before the mapeed is staged. Much has to be coordinated – not only the large number of people, the colour coordination of their outfits and hair-dos, but the road also must be either closed or partially cordoned off.
Mapeed is accompanied by a marching orchestra of gongs, drums and cymbals called baleganjur which is thunderous and powerful, and can be heard for kilometres in the distance. The procession is always carefully guarded by traditional security guards in chequered sarong called Pecalang.
Since the 1970s, mapeed has become an important element in the beauty and creative richness of the annual Bali Arts Festival Opening Parade. Held around the middle of June, participants from each regency present their regional version of mapeed. - in: http://www.baliadvertiser.biz/articles/kulturekid/2011/mapeed.html