Following on our blog series, in this month we will provide information and important events happening in and around Bali during the month of March 2018.
Melasti is one of Hindus religious ritual which will be done 2 days to 4 days before Silent Day (Nyepi Day). Hindus will be praying In the water resources such as rivers, beaches or lake which is symbolized as living water (Tirta Amerta). The purpose of the ritual is to cast away the negative energy In the nature and themselves, and also to purify all the religious tools (pratima) through the living water.
If you are In Bali 2 or 4 days before Nyepi, you will find the mass wearing the traditional custom and also bringing special umbrella which is called as Tedung and others religious media. This huge mass are heading to rivers, lakes and beaches
Pengrupukan mean ceremony that aims to drive away Bhuta Kala or negative energy from the home, courtyyard and surroundings. This religious ritual is performed the day before Nyepi and after the mecaru ceremony. Especially in Bali, on the Pengrupukan Day there will be ogoh-ogoh parade (gigantic doll with a demonic face) which will be carried around the neighborhood. Ogoh-ogoh symbolizes the embodiment of Bhuta Kala so that when they finished the convoy, ogoh-ogoh will be burned with the intention to repel the Butha Kala. Several shops, restaurants and streets will also be closed when this parade takes place.
Nyepi or Silent Day is actually a Hindu New Year celebration based on Saka calendar. Unlike the other New Year celebrations, this new year is done with solitude for 24 hours from 06.00 am today until 06.00 am the next day. On this day you will not find any activity on the road, all shops, restaurants, and also the airport will be closed, except for the hospital. The purpose of the Nyepi is to plead with God to sanctify Bhuana Alit (the human realm) and the Bhuana Agung (the universe) and also to introspect ourselves by performing the Catur Brata Penyepian.
The day after Nyepi is Ngembak Geni. Usually, on this day Hindus will visit and forgive each other both in their family and community, hope that they can start the New Year Saka with a positive thing. One of the most unique traditions in Bali that is Omed-Omedan or The Kissing Ritual is a festival you won't miss in this day. Located in the southern city of Denpasar, precisely in Sesetan, this tradition involves 2 groups of young people who will go down the streets. The two groups will face each other on the village main road and with a signal from the elders, the two groups will come closer together and the leading participants from each group will hug each other and kiss. Each group will pull the two of them away while the villagers will also pour water on them.
Pagerwesi sacred day celebrated every 6 months (210 days). On this sacred day, Hindus will worship Sanghyang Pramesti Guru, one of God's manifestations believed to be the teacher of the universe and mankind. Pagerwesi comes from the word Pager which means fence or protector and Wesi which means iron. Pagerwesi can be interpreted as a strong life grip like an iron fence that keeps the knowledge that has been used in the function of sanctity, can be maintained and always be a guideline for human life so as to avoid the darkness.
Tumpek Landep is a series of Tumpek sacred days in Bali which is celebrated every 6 months. Landep in Tumpek Landep means sharp or pointed, so that on this day Hindus will hold a ceremony against some heirlooms that have sharp properties such as kris (Bali's traditional sacred blade) and spears. Today, the meaning of Tumpek Landep is widespread, not only kris or spear but Hindus will also hold a ceremony against human-made objects such as motorcycles, cars, computers. The aim is to pray to God in his form as Sanghyang Pasupati (Lord of Weapon) so that tools that contain iron element can facilitate human activities to life every day.