Mejage-jage ritual and Mebuu-buu
The Caka New Year in Bali is not just celebrated by Silence Day (Nyepi) and Ogoh-ogoh (giant paper doll) parade, in Klungkung regency there are two villages that celebrate the Caka New Year with unique rituals. Besan Vilage holds Mejage-jage ritual and Gelogor Village holds Mebuu-buu ritual.
Mejage – jage (guarding ritual) is a unique ritual that is held once every three year by the members of Besan Village. This ritual is not recommended for animal lovers. The ritual starts at the village cemetery, a cow is tied to a bamboo in the cemetery then the cow is brought to Pura Dalem (Death temple) by dragging and hitting the cow with bamboo. In Pura Dalem, the cow is purified with a set of offering and mejaya-jaya ceremony then the cow is cut to create a small wound so the blood drips to the ground, then the cow is brought back to the cemetery to be slaughtered. The head and tail of the cow is reserved for material of Caru (ceremony for negative force of nature). For the head of the cow, it is placed on the bank of a river near the death temple. The head of the cow is believed to have power to ward misfortune and to cure certain illness but those who want to have it must take the head around midnight. The activity of guarding the head of the cow is where the ritual takes its name.
Mebuu-buu is held by the members of Gelogor Village. The ritual starts with slaughtering a cow, the head of the cow is reserved for Caru ceremony. Around 11 PM the village members summon the Rangda (deity) and ask for holy water to be used to purify the head of the cow. Then around midnight the village members bring massive amount of dried coconut leaves to the cemetery. The dried coconut leaves are placed on a stage that is prepared in the center of the cemetery. The cow head is placed inside the huge pile of dried coconut leaves then the leaves are burned, creating a huge fire. Armed with sickle, the village members rush into the fire to find the cow head. The heat and fire are not problems for them, the village members believe that the cow head can cure illness and bring fortune. The ritual ends when somebody finds the cow head.
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