Pagerwesi is one of the holiest days in Bali and is celebrated every 210 days in the Balinese calendar. Observance of Pagerwesi coincides with the celebration of Saraswati – the day of knowledge. The reason for this is that after the celebration of knowledge and divine inspiration during Saraswati, Pagerwesi is observed to protect and shield this knowledge and inspiration from forces of evil.
Pagerwesi is derived from two words: “pager” meaning fence and “wesi” meaning iron. The iron fence is a symbol of strong self-protection and on this day, it is suggested that one surrounds themself with strong fortifications to ensure that evil does not enter their minds, speech and deeds and to avoid harm to their surroundings.
On this day, Balinese Hindus honour the Sang Hyang Pramesti Guru (also known as the deity Siva) as the “teacher” of the universe, responsible for wiping out all bad and evil entities in the world. Sang Hyang Pramesti Guru teaches people how to live their life appropriately, without succumbing to bad behavior and evil desires. This is a day where the Balinese strengthen their minds and souls against evil forces. Pagerwesi is also called “rerainan gumi” by the Balinese, which refers to a holy day celebrated everyone from all backgrounds – from the families of priests to common families.
In many regions of Bali, Pagerwesi is considered a very important holy day, celebrated in similar fashion to Galungan Day. Similar to other sacred days in Bali, celebrations are held at houses and temples throughout the island. Many people erect “penjor” (tall decorated bamboo poles) similar to during Galungan, and make offerings to the deceased awaiting cremation. The Balinese show their gratitude and pay their respects to Sanghyang Pramesti Guru (Siva), who is believed to be the most respected Guru (teacher), leading them in this universe from birth, protecting them during their lives and transforming them later when they die. Pagerwesi Day is also a day that an ancient battle between good and evil is celebrated. Pagerwesi is also unique compared to many other Balinese ceremonies because it is held in the middle of night.
Purnama – 26 February
Purnama, or full moon in Bali is a special day for ceremonies and festivities. Hundreds of temples all over the island celebrate this special day hosting splendid ceremonies. Balinese believe that Purnama is a propitious day when Gods descend to the earth and give their blessing. On this sacred day, hundreds of ceremonies are held in all corners of the island to satisfy and honor the gods with offerings such as food, fruit and flowers. The Balinese themselves are then blessed by performing various rituals using holy water, incense smoke, petals and rice grains.
Tumpek Landep is a Balinese ceremonial day when offerings are made for objects that are made of metal. The word tumpek means ‘close (to)’ and the word landep means ‘sharp’.
In the early days of Balinese Hinduism, the keris (dagger) was one of the few objects that was made of metal. The keris was a weapon commonly used in battle and regarded as a holy spiritual object with magical powers, playing an important historical role and still does today. The keris is also symbol and a metaphor which instructs you to be as ‘sharp’ as possible in your thinking. On Tumpek Landep, Hindus on the island pay their respects to metal items especially the keris – which is believed to possess spiritual powers.
Tumpek Landep is celebrated every 210 days according to the Balinese ceremonial Pawukon calendar, on the Saturday of its second week, Landep. This day is also referred to as Saniscara Kliwon Landep.
Ceremonies begin in the morning at village temples, where people gather to present offerings and pray to God for their tools made of metals such as iron, bronze, gold etc. Afterwards, at home compounds, additional ceremonies and blessings are performed. In modern times, other objects that contain metal, such as computers, may be honoured. At the household level, Hindus provide offerings for kitchen utensils such as knives, stoves, cutlery and other metal items supporting household life. Farmers create offerings for tools such as sickles, hoes, tractors, ploughs etc. that support their livelihoods. Most Balinese people believe that these ceremonies and blessings will bring them luck and keep them safe.
Rituals are typically performed at the family temple compounds of Pande (metal tool makers or smiths). In Bali, the family name of Pande originally refers to families who usually create metal tools such as keris, knives, etc. For carpenters, house builders, and motorcycle and car workshops, Tumpek Landep a very special day to show appreciation for metal tools that are integral to their work/ livelihoods. Tumpek Landep is also a day for cleaning and purifying heirlooms.
Today, Hindus in Bali often place offerings on their vehicles including bicycles, motorcycles and cars on Tumpek Landep to ask for safety on the roads. Cars and motorcycles are often decorated with offerings made from young coconut leaves, out of respect for the metal used for the vehicles that transport humans on this earth.
Today, Tumpek Landep has been linked to the “human mind” by Hindu religious leaders; tied to how people’s minds and thought processes should be continuously sharpened to gain as much knowledge as possible during life. This results in good attitudes and the ability to control our desires to avoid committing inappropriate behaviour. Tumpek Landep is also linked with the Saraswati holy day, where Balinese Hindus worship the goddess that represents knowledge. Tumpek Landep is thus the day to sharpen the knowledge gained from the goddess Saraswati.
Kajeng Kliwon Uwudan
The day of Kajeng Kliwon falls once every 15 days and is a sacred day for the Balinese Hindus. It is the perfect day to conduct physical and spiritual purification, cleanse the mind, heal the sick and supernaturally get rid of evil elements in residential environs through specified ceremonies. It is also a good day to get rid of pests that are plaguing agricultural fields. According to some Balinese, Kajeng Kliwon is an auspicious day for bhuta kala (evil spirits) to run amok and create chaos among humans and nature. As such, the Balinese will visit temples to pray and meditate and remind themselves to watch their thoughts and feelings. As an expression of respect to the supernatural and other unseen forces, they will also present offerings of “segehan” and “tetabuhan arak berem” (a kind of liquor) in the yards of their houses, entry door and other important spots. If you’re in Bali on this day, you’ll most likely see plenty of ceremonies taking place in almost all street corners, houses and temples as Kajeng Kliwon is also a propitious day to hold certain ceremonies if deemed so by the spiritually wise in the Balinese Hindu religion.
What could be more romantic than celebrating Valentine’s Day on the Island of the Gods? Whether you choose to go out to sea on a romantic cruise or frolic on one of Bali’s dazzling beaches, dine among candles in verdant rice fields in the heart of Ubud or enjoy immortal views overlooking the caldera lakes as you declare your love, it will be a dream come true. Many hotels, resorts and restaurants here offer sweet packages complete with breathtaking backdrops, dinner and entertainment for the ultimate and unforgettable V-Day celebration. Check out our Hot Deals and What’s New section for the latest deals and packages this month.
Chinese New Year
Just like anywhere else in the world, Chinese New Year is celebrated with great pomp and splendor here in Bali. You’ll see Lion Dances, Dragon Dances and plenty of Red and Gold decorations to match the Lunar New Year spirit. Most hotels, villas and restaurants will offer delicious themed Chinese New Year dinner along with stay packages during this period featuring festive favourites like the Yee Sang, Peking Duck and Mandarin Oranges for luck! You might even receive a lucky Ang Pow packet if you’re in the right place at the right time. To find out more on where you can go to celebrate this festivity in style, do check out our What’s New and Hot Deal pages or visit our website at www.baliplus.com for the latest updates and information.