Talking about beach tourism and entertainment venues, Bali is second to none. There are so many places you can explore on this island. Ranging from family attractions, beach clubs, bars, pubs, to charming beaches that make your vacation feel so fun.

Bali is known as a beach tourist destination and also its nightlife. However, Bali is also known as a place that has a lot of traditional ceremonies that are very unique and unfortunately not to be missed.

Are you in Bali? Come on, take the time to enjoy the uniqueness of traditional ceremonies in Bali as follows.

10 Traditional Ceremonies in Bali with Their Uniqueness

Bali has a lot of tourism and cultural potential. No wonder the island, dubbed the Island of the Gods, has never been devoid of tourists. Do you want to see the other side of Bali? Get exciting moments by watching the following 10 traditional ceremonies in Bali.

1. Ngaben

Ngaben is a cremation or cremation ceremony in Bali, Indonesia. The Ngaben traditional ceremony is a ritual carried out to send the corpse to the next life. In this ceremony, the body is placed in a position like a sleeping person. The family that is left behind will also assume that the deceased person is sleeping. In this ceremony, there were no tears because they assumed that the body was simply not there for a while and underwent reincarnation or would find the final resting place at Moksha, a state in which the soul was free from reincarnation and the wheel of death. This cremation ceremony is also a symbol to purify the spirits of people who have died.

In the teachings of Hinduism, human bodies consist of subtle bodies (spirits or Atma) and gross bodies (physical). The gross body is formed by five elements known as Panca Maha Bhuta. These five elements consist of the earth (earth), teja (fire), apah (water), wind (wind), and akasa (vacuum). These five elements coalesce into physical form and are then moved by the spirit. If someone dies, what actually dies is only the raw body and the spirit does not. Therefore, to purify the spirit, it is necessary to carry out the Ngaben ceremony to separate the spirit from its raw body.

The Purpose of the Ngaben Ceremony

Broadly speaking, Ngaben is to process the return of Panca Mahabhuta in this great realm and accompany Atma (Spirit) to the Pitra realm by severing its attachment to the worldly body. By breaking the love of Atma (Spirit) with his world, he will be able to return to his nature, namely the Pitra world. Then the purpose of the Ngaben ceremony is that Ragha Sarira (body/body) can quickly return to its origin, namely the Five Great Bhuta in this realm and Atma can safely go to the Pitra realm.

There is a book called “108 Pearls of the Vedas” published in 2001, matching on page 107, there is a letter quoted from Yajurveda: 40-15. In the hill it is mentioned that;

“O people, your body which was built by the five mahabhuta will eventually become ashes and the atma will get moksa. Therefore, remember the name of God, that is AUM, remember the name of God AUM, and remember your actions.”

So in the Vedic samhita scriptures, in this factor the Yajurvedic book is written that every person (Hindu) who dies his body must be built into ashes so that the atmosphere reaches moksa. But if the cremation ceremony can directly reach heaven aka moksa? If we think that sort of thing is not certain. Can be seen in the quote from Yajurveda above in the latest sentence. “Remember your actions,” of course, when we have died, we will be responsible for our actions during our fate. Is it worth it or not to reach heaven or moksa.

Implementation of the Ngaben Ceremony Ritual

Ngaben is a big ceremony and certainly, it requires an insufficient budget. What about those who are no better? Hinduism is flexible and there are certain policies regarding this condition. Usually holding a mass cremation that is certain from the budget side will further reduce. And from a number of searches of several palms in Bali, Ngaben is in fact not a major routine. There are several types of cremation that are actually very simple. Ngaben-Ngaben this type include Mitrayadnya, Pranawa and Private. However, there are also several types of ceremonies that are included, such as prateka sawa and wedhana sawa. Following are the types of simple Ngaben:

Mendhem Sawa

Mendhem sawa means burial. In the foregoing, it was explained that Ngaben in Bali was still divided with opportunities to be postponed temporarily, with the argument of several factors such as those already described. But beyond that, there are still philosophical arguments again, which have not been found in the papyrus manuscript. It is possible that this argument was made up in relation to the philosophical background alias of the existence of this fate. The reason is that the Ragha Sarira which comes from the prthiwi element can temporarily bow to the prthiwi first. Which is ethically described so they can kiss prthiwi’s mother. But it needs to be reminded that in principle every dead person must be aborted immediately. For those who still need time to wait while the sawa (corpse) is mandatory in the pendhem (buried) first. It was entrusted to the Goddess of stoning Setra (Dewi Durga).

Ngaben Mitra Yajna

Ngaben Mitra Yajna Derived from the words Pitra and Yajna. Pitra means ancestor, yajna means sacrifice. This term is used to express the type of cremation that is taught in Lontar Yama Purwana Tattwa, because no specific name is mentioned. Ngaben, according to Yama Purwana Tattwa said, is the Word of Bhatara Yama. The names of this type of cremation are not mentioned in these features. To differentiate from other types of cremation, this cremation is named Mitra Yajna. The implementation of the Atiwa-atiwa / burning of the corpse is determined according to the provisions in Yama Purwana Tattwa, specifically regarding ceremonies and is carried out within seven days by not selecting an adult (good day).

Pranawa Pranawa

Pranawa Pranawa is the character of Om Kara. Ngaben is a type name that uses the sacred letters as a symbol of sawa. Where the bodies that had been buried three days before burning the bodies were held the Ngeplugin alias Ngulapin ceremony. Pejati and pengulapan in Jaba Pura Dalem by means of bebanten for pejati. When the day of the burning of the corpse the jemek and bones were united in the offering. The bone is under the jemek above. Then came the provisions of a kind of amranawa sawa who had just died. Ngasti to send is also the same as the provisions of Ngaben Amranawa Sawa, who just died, as described.

Pranawa Bhuanakosa

Pranawa Bhuanakosa is the flow of Lord Brahma towards Rsi Brghu. Where Ngaben Sawa Bhuanakosa for people who have just died even though it had planted, disetra. If you want to make an effort as a road with Bhuanakosa Prana Wa.


Swasta means lost or lost. Is the name of the cremation type that saw (the corpse) was absent (tan kneng hinulatan), could not be seen, died in the distance, long time in Setra, etc., all of them could be done with private cremation type. Even though people are despicable, ordinary, and primarily as the body (sarira) of the dead they are symbolized by Dyun (crock) as skin, 12 threads of thread as muscles, water as flesh, 18 pieces of sandalwood cages.

Pranawa as sound, ambengan (straw) as mind, Recafana as vein, ongara as phallus fate. Three days before the cremation of the body was held the ngulapin ceremony, for those who died in the distance unknown where the place, the magic ceremony, could be held at the crossroads. And for those who are long in the pendhem where unexplained traces of traces can be carried out at Jaba Pura Dalem.

The series of Ngaben Cultural Ceremonies

In general, the series of Ngaben cultural ceremonies are as follows:

Ngulapin, Ngulapin means as a ceremony to prove the Atma. This ceremony is also held if the person concerned dies outside the house (eg in the hospital, etc.). The ceremony is not carried out in accordance with the procedures of the tutorial and local traditions, some are carried out at the intersection of the road, a fork in the road, and the local cemetery.

Nyiramin or Ngemandusin, is a ceremony to bathe and cleanse the body, this ceremony is usually held at the yard of the family home in question (Natah). In this procession is also accompanied by the giving of symbols such as jasmine flowers in the nasal cavity, glass cleavage above the eyes, intaran leaves on the eyebrows, and other equipment with the aim of returning back the benefits of the body stage that is not used to its origin, and if the spirit the late reincarnated again so that he was awarded a complete body (not disabled).

Ngajum Kajang, Kajang is a piece of white paper written with magical characters by stakeholders, priests or local cultural elders. After the writing is finished, the relatives and the descendants of the parties will carry out the najjum kajang ceremony by pressing the kajang at least 3 times, as a symbol of the stability of the hearts of the relatives releasing the deceased and uniting the hearts of the relatives so the deceased can quickly carry out his journey to the next nature.

Ngaskara, Ngaskara means the purification of the spirit of the deceased. This purification is carried out with the aim that the spirit in question can unite with God and can be a teacher of his relatives who remain destiny in the world.
Mameras, Mameras is derived from the word squeeze which means to succeed, succeed, aka ending. This ceremony is carried out if the deceased already has grandchildren, because according to the grandchild’s beliefs that will guide the path of the deceased through the prayers and good karma they offer.

Papegatan, Papegatan comes from the word pegat, which means to break up, the meaning of this ceremony is to break the worldly relationship and love of a deceased relative, because both of these factors will hinder the journey of the spirit to God. With this ceremony, the family means that it has willingly let go of the deceased to a better place. Means of this ceremony are offerings (banten) which are arranged on a stone mortar and on top of it are filled with two branches of dadap trees shaped like a goalpost and stretched white threads on the two branches of the tree. Later this thread will be broken down by relatives and bearers before leaving the house until breaking up.

Pakiriman-Ngutang, After the papegatan ceremony, it will be continued with pakiriminan to the local cemetery, the body and its kajang then raised to the top of the Bade / Wadah, the body of the bearers (this is not the main mandatory, there can be replaced with a regular coffin called Pepaga). From the house concerned, the community’s subordinates will carry all the ceremonial equipment along with the body accompanied by the sound of Baleganjur (Balinese gong) who are hammering and excited, aka angklung sound that looks disappointed. On the journey to the tomb, the body will be paraded around 3 times counterclockwise, meaningful as a symbol of returning the elements of the Five Great Bhuta to their respective places. Not only that this rotation also means: Turning 3x in front of the deceased’s house as a symbol of separation from relatives.

Turning 3x at the intersection and fork in the village as a symbol of separation from the community.
3x in front of the grave as a symbol of separation from this world.

Ngeseng, Ngeseng is the cremation ceremony, the body is laid in a place that has been provided, accompanied by offerings and offerings with its own philosophical meaning, then sprinkled by the priest who presides over the ceremony with Tirta Pangentas who acts as an abstract fire accompanied by Puja Mantra from the priest, after ending then only the body is burned to scorch, the bones of the burning result are then ground and assembled again in ivory coconut that has been released from the water.

Nganyud, Nganyud means as a ritual to wash away all the impurities that remain in the spirit of the deceased by symbolizing in the form of washing away the ashes. This ceremony is usually held at sea, aka river.

Makelud, Makelud is usually held 12 days after the body cremation ceremony. The meaning of the makelud ceremony is to clean and purify the family environment of the impact of the disappointment that struck the family left behind. This 12-day philosophical disappointment was taken from Wiracarita Mahabharata, when the Pandava experienced a 12-year sentence in the middle of the forest.

2. Melasti Ceremony

Melasti is the next big ceremony which is routinely held every year. Usually, the Melasti Ceremony is held three days before the Nyepi celebration. The existence of the Melasti Ceremony is intended as a sanctification of the Hindu population in Bali. They will come to several sacred water sources such as lakes, springs until the sea which is believed to store the spring of eternity or Amerta.

In this event, Hindu Prayer will sprinkle holy water on the heads of everyone who comes. The purpose of this sprinkling is to shed all impurities and bad things in the body so that the soul and body are holy again.

If you want to watch this traditional ceremony, come 3 or 4 days before the Nyepi celebration is held on the island of Bali. You can choose to stay in hotels adjacent to Hindu temples which are quite large in various regions such as Kuta or Uluwatu.

3. Saraswati Ceremony

The next ceremony that you can meet while in Bali is the Saraswati Ceremony. In contrast to Ngaben which is a ceremony for death, Saraswati is a ceremony to celebrate science. This ceremony was held to worship or glorify Goddess Saraswati who is believed to bring knowledge on earth to make everyone in the world smart and educated.

At the Saraswati ceremony, usually, all matters relating to science such as books and books will be prayed for. This event also contains performances of arts such as dance, reading of stories, until the night of literature all night long. The Saraswati Ceremony is held every 210 days on Saturday Umanis Watugunung.

4. Omed-Omedan Ceremony

If you want to witness a truly unique ceremony in Bali, come after Nyepi. Usually, there is an Omed-Omedan ceremony that takes place in the Banjar Kaja area, Sesetan, Denpasar, Bali. The ceremony begins with a mass prayer at the temple.

Furthermore, two groups of unmarried young men and women ranging in age from 18-30 years will begin confronting. Usually, there will be one young man and woman who came forward then doused with water. They will try to fight each other and sometimes end with kissing each other.

The Omed-Omedan tradition is said to have existed since decades ago and is still maintained today by residents in Denpasar in particular. Well, if you want to witness this unique ceremony, you can look for lodging in hotels around Denpasar.

5. Mekare-Kare

For male residents in the Tenganan region, Karangasem, Bali, the Mekare-Kare ceremony is an event to show its prowess. They will fight and do everything they can to win the war whose weapons are pandanus leaves which have sharp thorns. Participants in this ceremony will be given one leaf and pandanus as a shield.

Mekare-Kare is held every year to honor Indra who is the god of war in Hinduism. By doing this ceremony, all men in the village will be considered strong and capable of war. This ceremony will usually be held in early June every year.

6. Mepandes Ceremony

For Hindus in Bali, the Mepandes ceremony or tooth-cutting ceremony is a religious ceremony that must be performed if a child is growing up. This ceremony can also be interpreted as a form of payment of parents’ debt towards their children. Because it is considered able to eliminate the six bad qualities that exist in humans.

Well, in this Mepandes Ceremony, the children who grow up are 6 pieces of their upper canines will be eroded. By filing the canine teeth to the level, those who are growing up are expected to do good at all times.

7. Ngurek Ceremony

This ceremony is quite extreme. This is because Ngurek is considered similar to Debus. Later, someone involved in the Ngurek Ceremony will stab their body using a dagger.

However, not just an ordinary ceremony, Ngurek has a deep moral value. Whereas humans, we must believe in God Almighty. That way, you will be given grace and help by the Almighty.

8. Tumpek-Landep Ceremony

Tumpek-Landep is a ceremony performed by the Balinese people to purify their weapons and equipment, with offerings and prayers. This ceremony will be led by traditional leaders and performed in temples that are considered sacred and have the right location.

All these sanctified weapons and equipment belonging to the community are expected to provide blessings to the owners of these weapons and equipment.

9. Otonan Ceremony

Bali does have many traditional ceremonies and religious ceremonies, as another example is the Otonan Ceremony. This ceremony is a traditional ceremony that is held in the context of someone’s birth. Usually, Otonan will be held when the baby reaches the age of 6 months. Then it will be held again every 6 months, with smaller ceremonies.

The Balinese believe that an Otonan Ceremony can determine a person’s character. In fact, another ceremony will be held if the character of someone is not good, and is expected to change the behaviour.

10. Mesuryak ceremony

Finally, there is the Mesuryak Ceremony which takes place so lively and full of joy. This ceremony will usually be held every 6 months, or rather on Kuningan. You can only find this Mesuryak ceremony in Bongan Village, Tabanan Regency.

This tradition which is held as a tribute to the ancestors will usually be held with cheers and by providing provisions in the form of rice and money. The uniqueness of the Mesuryak tradition is when it is colored by throwing money into the air which will later be contested by residents.

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