Bali Cultural Ceremony and Ritual
If you are a Balinese, or at least have lived in Bali for at least 3 months, you surely know that in Bali there are many holidays for workers and students. That’s because many traditional ceremonies and rituals are carried out on this Island of the Gods. There are ceremonies that fall once a year, every six months, and even once a month. Towards the day of celebration, Balinese people will be busy preparing ceremonial facilities, and on the D-day of the ceremony, of course, the Hindu community in Bali will carry out ceremonial rituals and prayers, therefore the local government has set a holiday.
Some of the ceremonies held in Bali are well known abroad, including the Nyepi Ceremony. However, apart from that, there are many other types of ceremonies held in Bali, so let’s get to know some of these ceremonies further!
- Nyepi (The Day of Silence)
In the Balinese lunar calendar (Saka), Nyepi is New Year’s Day, and Balinese people want to celebrate it by reflecting on what they have done during their lives in a calm and peaceful state, therefore on one day on Nyepi Day, all activities in Bali will be off temporarily, there are no vehicles passing by, no crowds and noise, only each family in the house finally gets time to be together and meditate to reflect on myself. It is one of the biggest and most unique ceremonies of the year, where staying in and resting is enforced by law.
- Galungan and Kuningan
Galungan is celebrated by Hindus every 6 months as the day of the victory of Dharma (truth) against Adharma (evil). While Kuningan will be celebrated about 9 days after, and always falls on Saturday. The uniqueness of the Kuningan holiday besides the use of yellow is that the prayer must be finished before 12 noon, because offerings and prayers after 12 noon will only be accepted by Bhuta and Kala because the Gods have all returned to Heaven. This actually contains the value of time discipline and the ability to manage time. The yellow color which is identical to the Kuningan holiday has the meaning of happiness, success, and prosperity.
Saraswati Day is an important day for Hindus, especially for school students and educators because Hindus believe that Saraswati Day is the descent of sacred knowledge to mankind for prosperity, progress, peace, and improving human civilization. This ceremony is celebrated every 6 months, it is based on the Pawukon (Balinese calendar) system and the Saniscara (seven day cycle). The name Saraswati came from “Saras” meaning flow and “wati” meaning a women. So, Saraswati is a symbol of knowledge, its flow (or growth) is like a river and knowledge is very interesting, like a beautiful women.