Balinese Holiday : Religious Ceremonies

Bali is a island which is full with culture and religious nuance. Almost in every house in Bali dedicates devotion to the Gods. The devotions are also dedicated at the intersection streets, the river banks, the ricefield and many places other. You can easily find the devotion in Bali because the Balinese are very obedient to their Gods.

Balinese often celebrate religious ceremonies and these are a very interesting event to see. Many tourists will come to watch the ceremonies. Balinese religious ceremonies are base on two local calenders. Apart from the everyday Western calendar, the Balinese also use two local calendars, the saka and the wuku calendar. These are some religious ceremonies ini Bali.



Nyepi, Day of Silence in Bali
Nyepi, Day of Silence in Bali (Source :

Nyepi is commemorated every Isakawarsa, Saka Calender new year. For Balinese, it is a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. From 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Balinese reserved for self-reflection. There are some restriction that must be obey like no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low), no working, no entertainment or pleasure, no traveling, no talking and no eating. In this day, Bali is quiet and empty.

Non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Tourists are free to do as they wish inside their hotels as long as they do not disturb the celebration but, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets. The only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions.


Galungan, Bali
Galungan, Bali (Source :

Galungan is a sacred ceremony to remind the victory of goodness fight against evil. This ceremony will give the Balinese strength of spiritual to differentiate the motivation come from the Gods or from evil. Based on Wuku calender, Galungan ceremony will be celebrated on Buda Kliwon wuku Dungulan.


Kuningan ceremony
Kuningan ceremony (Source :

Kuningan ceremony is celebrate ten days ater Galungan ceremony. Balinese believe that the God, Ida Sang Hyang Widi comes down to the earth and bless all the people in the world. In this ceremony, Balinese will dedicate yellow rice, symbol of prosperity, to thank for everything that God give to us. Based on Wuku calender, Kuningan ceremony will be celebrated on Saniscara Kliwon Wuku Kuningan.


Pagerwesi means “iron fence” symbolising strong protection. This ceremony is dedicated to Sanghyang Pramesti Guru. Sanghyang Pramesti Guru is name of God as Teacher. God is the teacher of the universe. Without his guideance, everything will loss direction. Based on Wuku calender, Pagerwesi ceremony will be celebrated on Buda Kliwon wuku Sinta.


Saraswati ceremony is devoted to the Goddes of knowledge, Dewi Saraswati. In this ceremony the books and stationary which is used for teaching of knowledge, religion and ethic, are cleaned and arranged for the ceremony. Based on Wuku calender, Saraswati ceremony will be celebrated on Saniscara Umanis wuku Watugunung.


Banyupinaruh ceremony is celebrated one day after Sarawati ceremony. The Balinese will go to the sea or river to take a bath for cleaning their soul and then pray to Dewi Saraswati ask for blessing.


Ngaben, Bali
Ngaben, Bali (Source :

Ngaben is the Cremation Ceremony, a ritual performed to send the dead through the transition to his next life, Nirvana. On the ceremony, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin then placed inside a sarcophagus in the form of a buffalo or a temple structure made of paper and light wood which is called wadah. The climax of Ngaben is the burning of the Wadah, using fire originating from a holy source. The deceased is sent to his afterlife, to be reincarnated in the future.

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