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Home » Religion

Chasing The Pestilence Away  

by on Friday, 23 November 2007No Comment | 891 views

On Monday night (11/19/07), my village summon the village protecting deities, a Barong which is named Ratu Ngurah Sakti and a Rangda which is revered as Ratu Istri to protect the village and all its inhabitants from the annual invasion of the king of demons, Ratu Gede Nusa and his army which spread plague and pestilence all over the island of Bali especially the south west coast of Bali. Monday (11/19/07) was chosen to be the time of summoning ritual since that day was a kajeng kliwon, an auspicious day which is believed to be full of magical power and it is occurred on the sixth month of Caka year (Kaenem), the month which is believed to be the month of invasion, the month of pestilence (this year Kaenem starts on 11/10/07 and last until 12/9/07).

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The main ritual began around midnight; the protecting deities, ratu Ngurah Sakti and Ratu Istri were escorted to the main crossroad of the village. The deities stood on the center of the crossroad and given special offerings, a chicken was sacrificed for the deities. The main crossroad of the village was chosen to be the venue of ceremony since main crossroad in any Balinese village is the center of the village, the central point for community activities and ceremonial events. The crossroad is an open space where the four cardinal points meet and considered to have an extraordinary magical power as well as a strategic point to release the magical power of the deities to four cardinal points.

After the ritual on the main crossroad of the village was over the deities were escorted on a trip around the village to chase away the invading demons which spread plague and sickness. The deities stopped at every crossroad and junction, danced with menacing movements to frighten the demons away, they also stopped at the graveyard, and repeated their dance. The rangda, Ratu Istri produced frightening demonic howls every time she danced; the Barong, Ratu Ngurah Sakti, answering the howl with rapid clacking of his jaw.

After around-the-village trip was over, both of the deities were escorted back to their resting place. A set of offering was presented to the deities in front of the gate of their resting place to welcome them then deities installed in their resting place. Tri Datu threads (a set of thread which consists of white, red, black thread) were distributed to the inhabitant of the village; the thread serves as an amulet to protect the villager from sickness and pestilence.

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