For anyone planning on visiting Bali, consider coming around this particular time of year for an insight into the beautiful local culture.
Melasti is one of Hindu religious ceremony which will be done 2 to 4 days before Nyepi. This is a part of self-purification conducted by Balinese Hindus before Bali New Year. The ritual also purifies the sacred objects or all religious tools (Pratima). From 21-23 March you will see Balinese women will carry offering that made from cake, fruits, and flower while the men will carry sacred object or Pratima accompanied by a particular umbrella which is called as “Tedung” heading to rivers, lakes, or beaches. The tourists had the opportunity to take part in seeing the procession of this ceremony. It’s just that there are things you should pay attention to. Do not disturb activities during the service because of your presence. Moreover, this event for the Balinese people has an essential meaning.
Pengerupukan occurs on the day before Nyepi, to purify the world before the beginning of the New Year. Pengerupukan is an ancient ritual that is supposed to expel Batara Kala / demon. In the afternoon all villagers will participate in a ceremony to cleanse their homes from evil spirits and keep them away from their lives. We can hear the loud sound of wooden bells, like the smell of a torch being burned around the house. After completion, the statue parade (Ogoh-ogoh) will begin between 7 and 9 at night, and a large crowd can be seen on the main road. During this time, most roads will be impassable.
Nyepi or Silent Day is a Hindu New Year celebration based on the Saka calendar. Nyepi Day means “Remain Silent”, in contrast to other New Year celebrations, for 24 hours starting at 06.00 this morning until 06.00 the following morning the Balinese carry out Catur Berata Penyepian. On the spiritual side, Nyepi is a day for self-introspection to decide values, for example, humanity, love, patience, kindness, etc., which must be maintained forever.
The day after Nyepi is Ngembak Geni. One of the most unique traditions, Omed-Omedan or The Kissing Ritual, is a festival you won’t miss on this day. Once a year, youngsters in a Sesetan village in Bali have a valid excuse to kiss members of the opposite sex. Unmarried men and women aged between 17 to 30 years of age participate in this unique tradition which has been around for about 100 years. Before the event takes place, prayers are said to invoke safety and ensure the smooth running of the procession. The festival has several functions, including a show of respect for ancestors and also bringing the community together. It can also be seen as the perfect way for singles to meet, and many relationships have started in this unique way. You may not find too many tourists at Omed-omedan, mainly because first-time visitors don’t know about it; however, everyone is more than welcome.
The Bali Spirit Festival embodies the core mantra of Balinese Hinduism - Tri Hita Karana - to live in harmony with our spiritual, social, and natural environments. Festival attracts over 5000 people from all over the world every year. There are interactive workshops & seminars, a lively community market & healing center, a children’s activity zone, yoga classes, and vibrant night-time programs of live Bhakti music concerts, ecstatic dance, and DJs, set among the picturesque rice-fields of Ubud, Bali. Check their schedules, line-ups, special events and more information on their website.
Date : 2020.03.07
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