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Makemit: Spending the Night in the Temple  

by on Friday, 21 March 2008No Comment | 903 views

Today, 3/21/08, the grand annual ceremony Bhatara Turun Kabeh (gods descent all together) is be held in the biggest temple in Bali, Besakih. Hundreds of thousands pilgrims pay homage to this temple during the eleven-day period of the Bhatara Turun Kabeh. During this period, the flow of pilgrims will continuously stream to the temple 24/7, even at night there will be many pilgrims coming, the nighttime pilgrims usually stay in the temple all night long, doing the mekemit activity.

Makemit is an activity of staying in the temple all night long. The word “makemit” is derived from the word “kemit” means “to guard”. In the bygone days, makemit was truly an activity of guarding the temple from burglars or protecting the offering from marauding cats or dogs during the night. However, nowadays the makemit activity is spending the night in the temple with various activities.

The activities that are used to kill the time by the pakemit (people who do the makemit activity) during the makemit range from reciting the ancient hymns to have a little chit chat with friend, from contemplating silently to watching the traditional art performance in the middle courtyard.

Most of the pakemits are teenagers, they come to the temple in the evening and leave in the morning. Even though most of the pakemit are male but the number of female pakemit is increasing year by year. There are also a battalion of priest and priestess and the committee of the ceremony that also makemit in the temple to accompany the deities of the temple and watch over their juniors.

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