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What is Mercon Bumbung?

What is Mercon Bumbung?
Ramadan is coming! Ramadhan festivities are heard again, the spectacle of Fireworks, the sounds of Firecrackers and "Mercon Bumbung" become one of the traditions and traditions of Ramadhan in addition to the crowd of residents and small children with the spirit of "Alarm Sahur".

Bamboo cannon is one of the traditional Malay traditional game quite popular and well known in various regions - Malay areas, even almost throughout the archipelago in general. Besides referred to as bamboo cannon, in various areas of the game is also known by the name of bamboo rifle, bamboo beads, long bumbung, and so on. This bamboo game is usually played by the boys in order to enliven the fasting month before the holiday, and the commemoration of religious and customary holidays.

Seen from the history of fireworks or firecrackers, this is actually a tradition of China. In Indonesia, especially in Java, there is a kind of firecracker of Mercon Bumbung which is now rarely seen and heard the sound of jarring, although it does not mean that the concrete barn has no danger to those who play it.

Mercon Bumbung made from bamboo sticks, bamboo cannon or "flower beard" is commonly played by many people from children to adults to fill the spare time before when breaking the fast, and usually continue again after Tarawih Prayer. How to play this Mercon Bumbung and how it works just like the original cannon. What distinguishes it only on raw materials and fuel used to produce shots or explosions. Genuine guns use gunpowder and similar explosives, while firecrackers use kerosene.


In some areas of Indonesia and other allied Malay regions, this one traditional game is known as the bamboo cannon, but in some other parts of Indonesia it is also known by other names. In some areas in the Malay region, for example in the islands of Bangka Belitung This bamboo cannon is also known as bamboo. In Minangkabau called Meriam betung or badia batuang, while in Aceh called the local language te't beude trieng. In Yogyakarta, Central Java, and East Java, this game is more familiar with the naming of mercon bumbung or long bumbung. In Banten and in some other areas in the Sunda land called bebeledugan, while the people of Gorontalo in Sulawesi and other ethnic groups in eastern Indonesia call this game with the name bunggo.

In principle, the game Bamboo cannon is actually not classified in a game that is competition, but only for entertainment alone. Not only that, the game of Bamboo cannon has become a tradition that is routinely played regularly, In Minangkabau land which became one of the centers of Malay civilization, has a tradition of sounding bamboo cannon when the fasting month arrives. The teenagers in West Sumatra sound the bamboo cannon, which by the people there is better known as a cannon betung, every evening while waiting for the breaking of fasting time. Usually, among teenagers in Minangkabau, especially those who still live in remote areas, perform the tradition of "war of meriam betung" along the river bank.

This bamboo cannon game is estimated to be inspired by the weapons used by the Portuguese as they attempted to occupy the archipelago in the 6th century. The cannon was a modern weapon possessed by the Portuguese nation. At that time the presence of cannons for the native people became their concern. They are surprised to see that there is something that can release a hot ball that can cause considerable damage. Referring to the story of its origin, the game of bamboo cannon or bamboo bedil is manifested in the form of "cannon" made of bamboo material. How to play it almost the same with the use of real cannon, namely by lit a hole in the base of the bamboo with fire. This bamboo cannon game is very popular with children and teenage boys in many regions in Indonesia. Not infrequently a bunch of boys competing to ring the bamboo cannon. Whoever managed to produce the loudest explosion sound, that's what is recognized as the jagonya Bamboo cannon. Not infrequently, Due to the loud sound of the boom caused, Bamboo cannon can be broken and split into two parts.

This is the case with the people in Aceh who also preserve the tradition of playing bamboo cannon. To welcome Idul Fitri, for example, the people of Aceh in some areas burning bamboo cannon from the night after tarawih prayer until the time of dawn. Even the Aceh people in preparing a show they are not half-hearted, Dozens of bamboo stems in the preparation for bamboo cannon made, it is done to enliven the atmosphere of Ramadan and Eid. And on the evening takbiran or the eve of the Eid is the peak of the event where hundreds of residents in various places in the region of Aceh will be busy watching the event to ring bamboo cannon.

In Gorontalo, the bamboo cannon is called by the name of bunggo and usually almost every night at dawn time the teenagers in Gorontalo play it throughout the fasting month. Usually Since the beginning of Ramadan, children in the gorontalo area began to go to the forest to look for materials to make bamboo cannon. The goal is to wake up the people who want sahur. So every ounce between 02:00 and 3:00 the children in the Gorontalo area are getting ready to play bunggo and then rolling other people up with the boom of Meriam bamboo. Although the sound of bunggo boom is quite loud and deafening, the residents of Gorontalo claim to have been accustomed to the tradition that has been running for this, and instead they feel helped to wake up so they can prepare meal dawn.

Similarly in Java, from Banten, west Java, central Java, east Java, to Madura. At Central Java, bamboo cannon called by the name of long bumbung, while in Yogyakarta cannon bamboo known as mercon bumbung is also played in every month of Ramadan and before Idul Fitri holiday. In addition to sounded on the night after tarawih prayer, not infrequently long bumbung also detonated in the afternoon or evening. As well as Diklaten, central java, the children there usually play long bumbung by making the team, so they divide the people into two groups, and each group occupies positions that cross each other, usually they play on the banks of the river, so it looks like it is happening Real war. And to make the game long the more fun they put the cans or objects that can be inserted into the long end of the bumbung, so that the long time in the fire by the fire it will sound a great bang and the tin will be thrown like a missile.

In addition to the mentioned areas, there are still many other areas in Indonesia and in Malay regions such as, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, and others who know the tradition of the game of bamboo cannon. This game still survives because it has become a tradition of hereditary and always there every year in the celebration of religious holidays.

Kinds of Mercon Bumbung

It is true there are several kinds of Mercon Bumbung. There are three types/ kinds of Mercon Bumbung which include:

1. Mercon Bumbung Bambu
This type of bamboo canvas is arguably the pioneer, the beginning or the first time a sponge. Made of a sizeable bamboo stem that uses kerosene as a fuel to play it. How to make it easy enough, we just need to prepare some things such as:

  • Bamboo Stem. As much as possible looking not too old so it is still strong and thick. 
  • Kerosene 
  • Logs. It's a firebreaker, much the same as a gun cannon. 
  • Our Power. With the power and excellent body condition, it will help us to blow the bamboo to clean from the smoke of the explosion caused when playing the mercon bumbung. It is easy to play it: 
  • Put enough kerosene into the bamboo through a small hole in the ignition. 
  • Shake the bamboo shake and let stand for a moment. 
  • North Sulawesi logs with fire. 
  • Ready to shoot. 
  • Clean the smoke of the fired explosion inside the bamboo by blowing from the small hole. 
  • When playing a bamboo pole rod we have to be careful when doing the fifth step, because here sometimes something quite dangerous is the burning of our eyebrows or eyelashes

2. Mercon Mineral Water Bottle 1500 ml
The second type of bamboo sponge is made with an aqua bottle or other mineral water 1500 ml, the design is almost the same as the mercon bumbung above , which has a small hole at the base of the bottle as the ignition hole.

The fuel used is not kerosene, but "carbide". How to play it almost the same as mercon bumbung, only in the first step is replaced by entering water and carbide with the condition of all the holes in the bottle closed.

The front hole of the bottle lid uses only the bottle cover, and for a small hole in the bottle can be covered with a cloth. After that rocking, then open a small hole that is covered with cloth, and can immediately fire the fireworks.

3. Cans Mercon Bumbung and Paralon Pipe
The last type of firecrackers made from a combination of several materials such as electric lighters, pieces of mineral water bottles, cans and paralon pipes. This one type of firework is quite modern and easier than the play side.

All it takes to make a parcel of this paralon pipe and cans is:

  • Electric lighters 
  • Used milk cans 3 - 4 pieces 
  • Paralon pipe about 30 - 50 cm 
  • Bottled mineral water 
  • Strong enough lighter + Double Tip (tape) 
  • Spray bottle for storing Spirtus 
  • Spirtus as fuel

All materials are arranged and then put together with duct tape (double tip) or maybe it can be added so that there is no air cavity and this must be strong and sturdy. Karen will be used to make a powerful explosion. For how to play it very easily, even much easier than the two types of earlier bombs.

How to play :

  • Open the lid of mineral water bottles that have been installed pematik. 
  • Spray several times (at least 5 times) of the spirtus. 
  • Cover the mineral water bottle. 
  • Let stand a few seconds, then ready to be fired / ignited by pressing the existing batik on the bottle cap. 
  • Clean the smoke inside the tube cavity.

Time and Place of Games

Bamboo cannon is very often played to enliven the month of fasting and to welcome Idul Fitri holidays, especially on the night takbiran or the night before Eid arrives. In addition, some communities in some areas in Indonesia and allied Malay countries also held this bamboo cannon game in the framework of commemorating religious festivals and traditional events, such as marriage, khinatan, and other traditional ceremonies. As for the place used to sound bamboo cannon can vary. Generally, bamboo cannons are lined along riverside and then burned in turns. There is also a sound of bamboo cannon in the front yard of the mosque when commemorating the religious big day. But in general, Bamboo cannon is sounded in vast areas and away from the settlements, such as in the field, in the garden, paddy fields, in the fields, and so forth.

Cultural Values

Although it contains a dangerous risk, but in the Bamboo cannon game contains the values - noble values in the realm of Malay culture is very useful for the community. 

Some of the noble values contained in the bamboo cannon game include:

  • Memorize the celebration of the big day. Bamboo cannon game is done as one way to welcome the coming of big days, such as the month of Ramadan, feast, religious holidays, or customary day. 
  • A form of gratitude and joy. As a form of gratitude and expression of joy over the struggle and success obtained, for example as an expression of gratitude has succeeded in performing fasting during Ramadan. 
  • Preserving tradition. The game Bamboo cannon is one of the many riches of tradition possessed by the Malays community so it is necessary to be preserved so as not to become eroded by the development of the times. 
  • Exercise creativity. Bamboo cannon is not a game that can be bought easily like most modern games that exist today. To be able to play a bamboo cannon a must make your own. The process of making bamboo cannon is the creative process of a person. 
  • Practice courage. Playing Bamboo cannons does contain the risk of danger, but if you remain cautious and always vigilant in playing it, it can train someone's courage.

Bamboo cannon is one of the traditional game that is owned by the nation of Malay allied. The game must be kept preserved so as not to extinct even today, especially in big cities, the tradition of the game Bamboo cannon has begun to be hard to find, other than being displaced by various types of modern games as well Because of the difficulty of obtaining materials to make this bamboo cannon Derived from materials provided by nature.

Hubungi Kami


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