Top 12 Traditions in Bali – Cultural and Customs
Bali is a fascinating place, where there are lots of cultural property in the local Balinese community. Balinese culture many packaged as cultural attractions are very popular with the public. People from overseas coming to Bali also just to enjoy and learn about a series of ceremonies held by the people of Bali.
That’s why, it is no wonder that so one of their goals come to Bali is for their unique traditional ceremony, where they could see for themselves directly and some even involved
Bali is not only the panorama and interesting sights available. The tradition is also very interesting to know. Why? Because knowing that you at least have some idea what happen in Bali when the Balinese people is holding one of their unique traditions.
Here are some great Traditions in Bali throughout the life of the its people:
1. Jatakarma Tradition
Jatakarma tradition is one of Traditions in Bali that is done when a baby is born. This ceremony is done as an expression of happiness of the parents of the baby. Besides the ceremony is also believed to provide safety to the baby when the baby growing up.
A meal consisting of rice cone complete with side dishes prepared along with cymbals (offerings of flowers) that function as an attribute of the ceremony. Then a ceremonial leader will pray for baby with offerings and food. Then the baby’s placenta gets cleaned and put into jars and sealed completely.
Before finally wrapped in white cloth and were given a jug of flowers usually written in Hindu script. After completion then the jugs is planted in the yard with the layout dependent of the room right next door house (seen from inside the house) if the boy and left if female.
2. Cutting Teeth tradition
Cutting Teeth tradition is reserved for the people of Bali who had reached adulthood. The objective of teeth cutting ceremony is to control the bad qualities that exist in humans such as lust, greed, anger, envy and others.
Teeth cutting ceremony begins with the hair cutting off someone who wants to cut his teeth first. Then the person is welcome to ride to the platform where the cutting ceremony will be conducted by the stepping on a stone as a symbol of harmony and then tapped the crowbar three times as a symbol.
After the teeth cutting ceremony was performed. Unlike the true sense of the word, the actual teeth cutting ceremony performed only by filing six top row of teeth only. It is believed that filing is a symbol of cleansing vices contained in that person. Once the person is filed, mouthwash using a bucket of rinse water. Then he will invoke the grace of God for the welfare of his life.
Hopefully, by the traditional ceremonies like this people will always do good where they will escape the temptation so that crime can be minimized early on.
3. Otonan Tradition
Otonan tradition is a tradition to celebrate the birthday of the Balinese style. Ceremony conducted in this tradition as a form of application for a blessing from God to get the safety and well-being.
Otonan tradition usually done by an adult. Unlike the birthday celebrations that are generally held every date of birth, otonan tradition is celebrated every 6 months based on the calculation of the Hindu custom called Wewaraan and wuku or pawukon.
Procedures for the ceremony is held to make offerings and do worship to God according to Hindu custom.
4. Pawiwahan Tradition
The Balinese wedding celebration with a ceremony is called pawiwahan. The objective of this tradition is to realize a happy family objective to have children.
There are 8 steps for this ceremonies, as follows:
The first is Mapesedek. This looks like a ritual ceremony application in general where the groom came to the family home to notify the woman wishes to be married. Followed by Makta Penangsek namely family visit to the family of the woman with the man bringing offerings and gifts.
Ngambil Pengantin Istri ritual is when the time for the man pick up a woman to be brought to the house of the man. Then, after that, they do Ngayab Pabiya kaon in which ritual ablutions of the bad things that might accompany the bride and groom.
The highlight of the event is known as Mekalan-Kalan which is a continuation of the ritual of ablutions. Ablutions and to requesting approval to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in the manifestation of the god Semara Ratih Asmara that became the continuation ritual known as Widi Widana.
Until finally they arrived at that ceremony called Mepejati that is a goodbye ritual for the bride to her family and also to the ancestral spirits in the family temple of women. And closed by Ngayab which is a purification ceremony at the residence of the man or the would be the residence of the bride and groom future residence.
5. Ngaben Tradition
Ritual reserved for the people of Bali who was dead and is done in order to send the bodies to the next life. The bodies are being put in the position like sleeping in a coffin. The coffin is then placed in an ox.
Later, the bodies will be burned in accordance with the specified date. The date normally regarded to be a good day by the traditional elders.
During the ceremony, the family is advised not to cry because the cremation ceremony is believed to be a ceremony for greeted with joy in order to facilitate the corpse reaching nirvana.
6. Burial Ceremony Corpse in Trunyan
Trunyan village is known to have a unique tradition, where a ceremony burying the deceased person is laid around the trees in the forest near their village. The trees there are not just any tree, but the trees and combined with taru incense was able to secrete an enzyme that smells like a fragrant.
Therefore, when the bodies of the deceased decomposed when placed around the tree then the body will not smell worse, they even smell fragrant because the smell decomposing body is masked by the tree’s fragrance. That’s why many bodies are displayed openly here.
7. Ngurek Ceremony
Ngurek derived from the word ‘urek’ meaning to holed or to puncture, so ngurek can mean trying to make a hole or piercing body part itself by using keris, spears or other tools when you are in a state possessed.
Thus, Ngurek conducted under conditions that were possessed or beyond consciousness, then the other spirits that enter into the body will give strength, so that people who do this ngurek become resistant, and it is a uniqueness and mystery that is difficult to explain.
The purpose of this ngurek ceremony is for humans that must believe in the Almighty Go when human is sure of their entity then surely there will be relief in the form of a gift and a blessing from the god to humans.
8. Melasti Ceremony
Melasti ceremony is a ritual of purification of man and his life which is done before Nyepi that shall be conducted by praying near the beach.
Meanwhile, the element of human evil will eventually be removed and floated out to sea.
Melasti ceremony is a ceremony that serves to purify human beings which always have sin because human beings are not perfect beings.
Humans often make mistakes and even sin that this Melasti ceremony is conducted for this purpose for cleansing the spirit. Therefore, man will be reborn clean both body and mind back after the Melasti ceremony is performed.
9. Omed – Omedan Ceremony
This ceremony is called the Omed – omedan because the word means to attract each other. Omed ceremony is in core activities. In this Omedan the participants involved in the ceremony attract each other and are lifted to kiss each other.
Those who deserved to do traditional kiss is the man appointed by their peers and the women who are appointed by the others as well.
On the other hand, this tradition is carried out for the purpose of friendship, joyfulness together, and to repelled any bad luck and to reinforcements of love towards people who believe in it
10. Tumpek Landep Ceremony
The ceremony of Tumpek Landep is a ceremony in Bali where weapons and equipment owned by the people of Bali are purified by offerings and prayer. In which, they had accumulated and are blessed by traditional leader.
Then, its expected the weapons and equipment that people can use and were able to bring blessing in their daily life of the owner. Its all done during the utilization of the weapons and the equipment.
Usually, people gathered their weapons and equipment is carried out at the temple where it was chosen as the exact location and given sacred ritual to carry out a blessing to the weapons and equipment they use every day.
11. Mesuryak Ceremony
Mesuryak ceremony is a tradition typical of the Balinese traditional ceremony which is done by throwing money up after a day of Galungan, exactly held on the day of Kuningan or 10 days after the day of Galungan.
This ceremony is held every Hari Raya Kuningan which have meaning to accompany ancestors back to heaven with joyful love. The happiness was implemented by throwing money which is then captured by a gang of local people.
The purpose of this ceremony is the offering or providing supplies to the people of Bali in which their ancestors on the day of Galungan came down upon the earth to bless their descendants, and returned to nirvana at the Kuningan day.
12. Perang Pandan ceremony
This ceremony is also called Mekaré – kare where the people involved are ramming each other thorny pandanus leaves with one another for the dedication and offering to Lord Indra who is the God of War for the people of ancient Bali.
Then, the main tool in this tradition is the shield that is usually made of bamboo or rattan. As well as pandan leaves which has shrub whose leaves have spines that are very sharp. In this ceremony, the conductors of ceremony strangely do not feel pain because of thorny pandanus leaves despite blisters and bleeding.
Thus, after the ceremony they will be treated and purified also by the traditional authorities and the priests who led the ceremony.
Traditions in Bali are quite unique than other traditions across another Indonesian province. Because of the interference of Hindu ideology during the Majapahit era. And also this unique tradition make many foreigners decided to treat Bali as their home due to many traditions that is very interesting to them. The tradition become the identity of Bali people and need to be preserved so it will last for many generations