The 9 Impressive and Unique Ceremonies in Bali
Bali is the place where culture meets holy traditions. There are a lot of ceremonies in Bali, whether for family traditions or public traditions. Each area also has the celebrations itself. That’s why Bali is the best destination for tourists. For you who are looking for a cultural holiday or something different from the usual one, Bali is a must visiting place for you. And if you are staying in Bali while the cultural event is held, you will see how beautiful and holy Bali is. These are few important ceremonies in Bali that you should know.
Nyepi is well known as the day of silence in Bali and it is a Saka new year from the Bali calendar. Nyepi is a Hindu celebration that makes people in Bali have to fasting, silence, and meditation. That’s why in Nyepi day, all of the people in Bali usually turns off the lights, sounds, and the crowded in the street to finally start the meditation in a day. If you are stay in Bali in Nyepi day, you could see how silent and peaceful Bali is. Why? Because all of the activities will be stopped, such as the clubs, restaurants, including hospitals. And Nyepi is one of the public holiday in Indonesia.
The purpose of Nyepi is to pray to god for the goodness in earth and universe. It is a must to stay at home 24 hours in that day to respect the biggest ceremony in Bali.
2. Tumpek Landep
The second important ceremony in Bali is tumpek landep. It is the holy day that is held in every 6 montths (210 days) or saniscara kliwon landep based on Balinese Puwakon calendar. It is the ceremonial day who are made for respect the object made from metal such as motorcycle, cars, computer, TV, or anything else.
The ceremonial starts on morning to pray while all of the metal stuffs will be displayed on the front of their home and they will ask for blessings to god. Beside that, the main purpose itself is to sharpening our mind and to having an extensive knowledge. By doing this, we are expected to have good attitudes so that we won’t do an inappropriate things.
3. Saraswati day
Saraswati day is the day for celebrating the knowledge in Bali. It is held based on the Balinese calendar (Pawukon) and the Saniscara in every six months (210 days) and happens all around Bali.
Saraswati is known as the goddess symbol of knowledge. They illustrated it by the pretty woman with four arms holding (and playing) a zither, scriptures and rosary beads; all representing the characteristics of knowledge.
Usually, the ceremonies before Saraswati day will be celebrated by praying, singing holy songs, dancing a traditional dance, and other religious activities in the home, school, or office in Bali.
And then, in Saraswati day, in the afternoon we are not allowed to read and write a book because all of the books are offered. But in the evening, it is called Malam Sastra, people should read books especially in religious theme in their house, temples, or offices who are working.
4. Galungan and Kuningan
Galungan and Kuningan is the event to celebrate the victory of good against evil. Galungan is held twice a year (usually 7 months apart).
There are several ritual before and after the day of Galungan. In 3 days before, called as Penyekeban is where the families prepare to cooking the bananas. In 2 days before, called as Penyajaan is where they will making a Balinese rice cakes and also introspection day. In 1 day before, called as Penampahan is where pigs and chickens are in the making for Galungan’s day.
Galungan is one of the happy event where the Balinese will eat a lot of Balinese food and put the best traditional clothes to visit the temples with their family. Thats why in Galungan day, all the temples in Bali are very busy, crowded, and colorful. This is the day where you can spend and take a look how unique Bali’s culture is.
5. Tumpek Uduh Ceremony
Alt text: ceremony in Tumpek Uduh day
One of the most important ceremony in Bali is Tumpek Uduh. It is held every Saturday Wuku Wariga in Balinese calendar or every 210 days. It is the ritual for praising God for the existence of Dewa Sangkara, as the plant god. The main purpose of this ceremony is to thank Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa for creating plants and pray to god to having a plants who are reproduce well for their life.
6. Siwa Ratri
Known as the night of Siwa, this is also one of the important ceremony in Bali culture. In Siwa Ratri ceremony day, it is the best time for doing the meditation and introspection to pray for forgiveness and asking for the strength from the god Shiva (Siwa).
Another rituals in Siwa Ratri day is the people have to fasting and awake all night long because Siwa Ratri is also famous as the longest night.
Pagerwesi is held every 210 days according to Balinese calendar and the date is three days after the Saraswati day. Pagerwesi is the ceremony for Balinese people to strengthen their souls against evil forces. The Balinese shows their gratitude to Sanghyang Paramesti Guru by making offerings, praying in their houses and visiting temples. The thing that makes Pagerwesi is different from many other Balinese ceremonies, it is held in the middle of the night.
Melasti ceremony is the biggest purification rituals that means to self-cleaning process with the sacred Hindu rituals in Bali. The main purpose of Melasti itself is to remind ourselves of how important our life and we need to purify ourself and the universe.
Melasti usually held around 3 days before the Nyepi day. In Melasti day, the Balinese people will wearing the clean white clothes and carry all of the god symbols and go to the beach holy water resources to do the purification process. There will be also a back sound of gamelan during the parade procession among people.
When arriving at the holy water resources, all of the god symbols will be purified following the local rituals. After that, it all will be carried and put it back to the temple to keep the god symbols sacred. All of the Balinese Hindu people should go to the temple and pray to have a peaceful life.
9. Omed Omedan
Omed omedan is well known as the kissing ceremony in Bali culture. The female and male of range 17 until 30 years old are following the kissing ceremony procession. The main purpose of Omed Omedan itself is to make people in local area recognize each other.
The ceremony procession is start since females and males are standing side by side and waiting for the signals from Hindu leader to finally kissing while the other participants are pouring the bucket waters toward them. Unique, right? That’s all the big and important ceremonies in Bali that you should know. Each of them are unique, right?
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