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Home » Ritual and Ceremony

Balinese Religious Procession  

by on Saturday, 20 December 20082 Comments | 3,085 views

Balinese Religious Procession

If you happen to stay in Bali long enough or during the propitious days, you will likely to encounter a religious procession. Lines of Balinese, men and women, young and old, walk down the street with their Sunday-best cloth (mostly white, especially for men). The women carry offerings and paraphernalia of the ceremony, while the men carry replicas of the deities, umbrellas, spears, banners, and of course, musical instruments for enlivening the procession. The procession usually starts from the temple to the nearest springs, sea, or other source of holy water and vice versa.

Religious procession has been an icon of Bali, something that unmistakably Bali. The pictures of this religious march adorn many pages of tourism brochures, web pages, flyers, etc which promote Bali as tourism destination. It is an interesting spectacle to be seen and photographed. But, as Balinese belief has it, everything has two sides, the positive and negative side, and religious procession is not an exception to this concept.

Religious procession walks down the street. It is definitely the king of the street in Bali. It can slow the traffic down sometimes causes a complete halt. For Balinese who ride the motorcycles or drive the cars, the inevitable encounter with a religious procession on their way is usually greeted with a smile (for some it looks like a grin). Since they know that one day they will have their turn to be the participants of religious procession and it is their turn to slow the traffic down (the law of karma sometimes can be interpreted as simple as an eye for an eye).

Tanah Lot Art Fetival 2009

Unfortunately, for those who are in hurry, in emergency, lack of the word “patience” in their vocabulary, do not have any faith on the law of karma, or have seen and photographed too much of religious procession, this religious march is indeed a problem. if you are in emergency and it is a matter of safety, you can overtake the procession after stating the state of your emergency to the pecalang (traditional security force) who guard the procession.

Lelunakan or Tengkuluk

But if you are not in a hurry, it is better to adapt the pace of this paradise island, everything will be done but takes longer than it should be in the west.

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