Bull Races

The Negara region is famous for bull races, known as mekepung, which culminate in the Bupati Cup in Negara on the Sunday before 17 August, Indonesia's Independence Day.

The racing animals are actually the normally docile water buffalo, which charge down a 2km stretch of road or beach pulling tiny chariots. Gaily clad riders stand or kneel on top of the chariots forcing the bullocks on. The winner is not necessarily first past the post – style also plays a part and points are awarded for the most elegant runner. There is much wagering on the results.

It must be noted that Bali's bull races have been criticised by animal-welfare experts as being inhumane because of the use of spiked prods and other methods to make the animals run faster.

Important races take place during the dry season on some Sunday mornings from July to October. Races and practices are held at several sites around Perancak on the coast and elsewhere, including Delod Berawan and Mertasari.