Bull racing is an age-old tradition across generations in Bali, and the Makepung Bullock Races (aka Negara Bull Races) is one of the most popular bull races on the island.
The name of this bullock race is derived from the local Balinese word, ‘kepung’, which translates to ‘chasing’. The word is comparable to ‘steeplechase’, and means that it is a race that involves bulls ‘chasing’ each other in the race.
Makepung Bullock Races 2023 Dates & Location in Negara Bali, Map
Different tracks are scattered across the district to allow for the initial phases of the racing competition. As the races progress, the farmers get to converge at a pre-determined central location. This meeting is called sekaa makepung, and is marked with different festivities.
On the finals day, enthusiastic visitors will gather to cheer on the racing bullocks. In addition to the racing, visitors also get treated to a unique show known as the ‘buffalo fashion show’. During this show, these beautiful animals are dressed in animal clothing embellished with ornaments before being allowed to compete in the best-dressed section.
Makepung Bullock Races run each year and kick off early, usually by 7:30am, so if you want to attend, make your way to the circuit in good time. The dates for each year’s event vary; however, the heats occur each month on a Sunday morning from June to October.