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Home » Arts & Culture, People & Community

Modern Balinese Calendar  

by on Thursday, 9 August 2007No Comment | 7,311 views

No Balinese in his right mind will hold a ceremony without consulting a calendar for an auspicious day for the execution of the ceremony, and the best calendar for determining a good day for ceremony is a Modern Balinese paper calendar. This calendar is an amalgamation of three different calendars, the pawukon calendar, Saka lunar calendar and Gregorian calendar. Modern Balinese calendar contains various information ranges from the date to the date of anniversary of various temples all over Bali, from the occurrence of full moon and new moon to list of auspicious and inauspicious day.

The main section of the calendar consists of columns of the dates, each square of these columns contains a date in the middle of the square and surrounded by the names of the day of this particular date, a red dot if the date coincides with full moon and a black dot if it coincides with new moon. Each date in this calendar may have ten different names as a result of the complexity of Pawukon Calendar.

The Pawukon Calendar is quite complex since its 210 days are subdivided not according to simple system of months and weeks but into ten separate week systems. There is a week that only consists of one day; one consists of two days; one consists of three days, and so on, up to ten-day week. And they all run concurrently. Each week has its own Sanskrit derived name, based on the number of the days it has. The one-day week is called Ekawara, the two-day week is called Dwiwara, the three-day week is called Triwara, and so on. And each of the days of each of ten different weeks has a unique name. Thus any given calendar date may have ten different weekday names, one for each of ten weeks that are going on simultaneously.

And to add more complication on the calendar, Pawukon calendar also divides its 210 days into another thirty weeks known as Wuku. Each Wuku has its own name; luckily there is no unique name for each day in these Wuku weeks. The information on this Wuku can be found on the second row from the top.

On the far right column is the list of all dates and the factors that determine the degree of auspiciousness of each date. There are three factors that influence the auspiciousness or inauspiciousness of a date; they are Kala (Kl), Pertiti Samutpada (Ps) and Ekajala Resi (Ek). A date in this list will contains three to five different kinds of Kala, one Pertiti Samutpada and one Ekajala Resi. For example a given date contains Kala Dangu, Kala Jengking, and Kala Gotongan, the Pertiti Samutpada is Tresna, and the Ekajala Resi is … Kala Dangu means that this date is bad for traveling, Kala Jengking means good date for making musical instruments, Kala Gotongan means bad date for cremation ceremony. If the Pertiti Samutpada for this particular date is Tresna, it means that this date is bad for executing all kind of ceremony, if someone is born in this date he will be wise and clever but has many enemies. He will never be rich but generous and he should be careful when he is 10 days old, 3 months old, 5 months old and 9 months old.

At the bottom of each column, printed in large red capital is the ingkel or prohibition for the week. This is schedule of forbidden activities. If the week is ingkel wong prohibits one to hold a ceremony for human welfare, ingkel buku one may not cut jointed plant, such as bamboo, ingkel sato one may not cut, kill or make offerings from four legged animals, ingkel mina applies the prohibition to fish, and ingkel taru to wood.

The first section on the left below the ingkel, is a list of important Hindu holidays and dates for the month, with a brief description of the most important. Full moon, new moon, important coincidence dates of three-day week, five-day week and seven-day week, and religious holidays such as Galungan or Kuningan are listed here.

Next is the list of the dates of temple anniversaries, only the anniversaries of important or big temples in Bali or other parts of Indonesia are enlisted here. It is useful for the visitor who wants to attend a temple anniversary or two.

The next section is the list of auspicious dates (Dewasa Ayu) for various activities. This list helps a farmers to determine the best day for planting the seeds, the craftsmen to begin working on metal, the traders to start a trading activity, hunters to start hunting, etc. This list also contains auspicious dates for executing a religious ceremony, for building various structures, and even for cutting one hairs.

The last section of the lower part of the calendar contains list of national or government holidays such as Independence Day and religious holidays other than Hindu. This section also contains miscellaneous information such as eclipse and so on.

The last but not least, the top row of this paper calendar is filled with the information of the month in the muslim’s Hijriah Calendar, The Javanese Calendar, Chinese Calendar and The Buddha-Pari- Nibbana year.

This writing provides only a glimpse of Balinese paper calendar; a complete description and explanation may require more space and time for research. Most of the Balinese do not even know the meaning of most of the words printed in this paper calendar. They just take a glance on the list of auspicious dates to help them in determining the right day for a ceremony.

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