– Gameness til the End
GIANYAR, Indonesia – Hundreds of Indonesians gathered to watch a traditional and bloody mass cockfighting competition at a Hindu temple in Gianyar, on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Around 500 spectators cheered and screamed ringside at the traditional cockfight, known in Balinese as “tajen,” at the Hyang Api temple on Sunday, an epa journalist reported.
The competition was held as part of a Tabuh Rah ceremony – which translates as “pouring blood” – as locals believe the ritual helps to expel evil spirits.
Hundreds of roosters take part in these competitions, with their owners attaching sharp blades of steel to the birds’ heels.
The bird left alive at the end of each fight, which lasts three rounds, is the winner.
The winning side then claims the body of the defeated rooster and cooks it.
An epa journalist on the ground witnessed a generous spill of blood, not only from the trained animals, but from an onlooker who was rushed to hospital after being injured by a blade attached to a rooster’s heel.
Traditional cockfighting was once performed as a sacred ritual in Bali, but has now become a source of gambling for many local men.
There is no limit to the amount of gambling money. In a single fight, the money being wagered can range from one dollar to hundreds of dollars.
The tajen is held every six months for 10 days at a time, usually in the morning from 6 am to 10 am.
Sunday’s fight was held as part of the Hyang Api temple’s anniversary celebration.
Cockfighting has long been a traditional event for Southeast Asian nations, including Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines.