Sequence of Balinese Human Being Ceremony

Sequence of Balinese Human Being Ceremony

It may surprise you to learn that ceremonies for Balinese babies start even before they are born. There are many type of ceremony for human being in Bali. Different place may have different tradition, but generally the sequence of of ceremony as follows:

1. Magedong-gedongan Ceremony
Magedong-gedongan ceremony is a ritual that is performed when the baby is still in the womb of his/her mother. The ceremony serve not only to protect the child from ‘the unseen evils or the supernatural world’, but also to ensure that the baby is born healthy, intelligent and grows up to be a good, honest and respectful human being. During pregnancy, the mother is forbidden to do evil and say rude because it could affect the nature and character of the baby.

2. Ceremony for The Newborn
When the baby is born, the family will do a ritual to treat the placenta as it is considered as the sister/brother of the baby. The placenta washed and then inserted into the coconut. After being given a mantra (sacred prayer), the placenta in the coconuts planted in front of the home and given pandan leaves as a symbol of black magic repellent disorder.
3. Kepus Pungsed 3 - 7 Days Old
The first post-natal ceremony - ‘Upacara Kepus Pungsed/Puser’ - takes place when the baby’s umbilical cord falls off. The cord is put into an egg-shaped container made from coconut leaves, called a tipat taluh. Some parents prepare a special trinket made from silver or gold that is ceremoniously hung around the baby’s neck, serving as a good luck charm and also to protect the baby. Occasionally, this ceremony is termed ‘Upacara Ngelepas Aon’, so-called because in former times parents used to forcibly remove the cord to by using soot (aon) from the embers of the kitchen’s hearth. They would rub this soot mixed with salt onto the cord and then tie it up with cotton, dividing it into three sections. After the cord became soft and thin, the cord would be cut using a turmeric-smeared bamboo knife called a ‘ngaad’. Balinese believe that the dead cord has special healing powers, and the water from a soaked umbilical cord may be administered to a sick child.
4. Ngerorasin 12 Days Old
The second post-natal ceremony is celebrated when he or she is twelve days old. This is called ‘Bajang Colong/Ngerorasin’ and has the aim of cleansing the baby’s soul from any negative influence which could have been passed on via its mother’s uterus (Balinese believe that a child is accompanied in-utero by four unseen siblings which may influence him or her in later life if the baby is not purified). At this time the baby is also given its name. First, a number of candles called linting are lit according to the child’s birth number (urip) based on the Balinese calendar. Then, a piece of paper or palm leaf, inscribed with a name chosen by the parents, is affixed to each candle. The name is chosen from the candle which is the last to go out. This method is rarely employed these days as other factors are taken into consideration when choosing a name.

5. Ceremony when The Baby is 42 Days Old
This ritual is called Tutug Kambuhan ceremony which is aimed to clean up the baby and mother from things impure. After execution of this ritual, the baby and the mother will be allowed to enter the sacred areas such as temple.

6. Nyambutin Ceremony
This ceremony held after the baby is 3 months old. This ceremony aimed to request to The God that the soul of the baby really has to be on his body.  Until this day, babies are not permitted to touch the ground. For this ceremony, parents adorn the baby with some kind of jewelry such as earrings, bracelets, necklaces. So adorned, the child touches the ground for the first time in her/ his life.  On this nyambutin ceremony, usually attended by relatives, neighbours, and many people from the society.

7. Ngotonin
After 6 month old baby in bali calendar we held Ngotonin ceremony. One of the activities carried out in this Ngotonin ceremony is cutting the hair of the baby. The Balinese believe the baby’s first hair is dirty. The hair cutting goal to appeal to the God that the baby is released from the sins in a previous life, so that in this reincarnation can start a better life.  This ceremony is equivalent to annual birthday for the most people in the world.

8. Ceremony at the coming of age (ngraja swala)
The coming of age of a child is at the first menstruation for the girl and laugher sound for the boy. The ceremony is asking purification blessing of any stains and to announce to the neighbors or the community member that there is a new young woman or young man in their society.

9. Tooth filing ceremony (Mepandes)
This ceremony can be done after adolescent or the coming of age of about 14-15 years old, the six upper tooth including the canine are filed to symbolize the six evil spirits in his/her body named Sad Ripu which caused conflict in all human are now overcome, such as :  
1. greediness      
2. rudeness        
3. wrathfulness    
4. like to lie
5. like to be praised
6. like to slander.
And from now they are considered as fully women and men of course they start renouncing the childlike and so on.

10. Wedding Ceremony
Marriage is a must for the Balinese people to continue the generation and to keep the house private including the family temple. So a new couple is expected to have children.  In Bali is known with two different customs of getting marriage called kawin lari or  marriage by elopement and the other one is married by proposal, both are legal, more than 90% the marriages are by and the rest are by proposal, married by elopement is more romantic, they choose their partners by their own choice until both (girl and boy) really like each-other and then they pick the day for running away. The boy will keep the girl in his friend's home and as soon as possible he has to report to the cheap of the communal which then the new couple are protected by the community members, no strangers are allowed to come to the room where the new couple are hiding. After the sun is setting the new couple send a message to the girl's parent to tell what is happen, usually the message consists of two cheeps of communal "kelihan adat and kelihan dinas", and one or two relatives of the boy, they must bring a little lamp. Otherwise the girl's parent may refuse. Usually when the girl left her home for marriage running away she takes the best dresses and if possible to put offerings of canangsari at her family temple to represent that she goes away by her own choice in order the family is not so panic.

After three days or in selected day a formal ceremony is arranged to formalize that the new couple is groom and bride and as soon as the ceremony over they are considered as husband and wife. The wedding ceremony is not attended by the bridge's family non-of the relative either and there is no dowry at all. In the same day or a day after the wedding ceremony the groom and the bride will go for a visit to the bride's parent to apologize of what they have done, usually they are accompanied by the whole community members and the close friends of the groom and bride but before they come a delegation is sent to tell that the groom and bride are going for a visit, if they are welcomed a visit can be done otherwise not at all that means the situation is in a critical and sad and also the  young couple may never go to her parent's home at all that means as well they are not blessed. A nice technique can be done as long as the young couple calm and wait until a baby is born just take the baby home usually most of the critical problems sorted out with tears go by.  

11. Cremation Ceremony
The cremation ceremony is carried out when people die especially for the Hindu Balinese with great preparations some days before. It could be done directly after people died or by burying the death body first at the cemetery ground. When the family has enough preparation or financial, so the body is taken back and cremated it's bone. The cremation ceremony commonly spends much money. The main purpose of cremation ceremony is to return the five elements of human nature. Those five elements are fire, water, earth, wind, and ether. In Balinese is known as "Panca Maha Buta". Followed by a certain ceremony and offerings, these five elements, except the element of water will return back to their nature respectively. The element of water will be returned by taking the ash and throw it to the sea or river flows to the sea. Higher priest at cemetery yard leads the ceremony.