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Home » Religion

Melasti Ritual  

by on Saturday, 13 March 2010No Comment | 2,024 views

Today, thousands of Balinese flock to the beaches, lakes or springs to hold the Melasti ritual. Melasti is a ritual in which Balinese escort the deities to the sea, lakes or springs but mostly to the sea with the purposes to throw away impurities, miseries and poor mundane elements and take tirtha amertha, or holy water of life in the sea, lake or springs. (deeper analysis on Melasti)


The deities which attend the melasti ritual usually in the form of pratima (sacred statues), barong (personification positive force usually in form of mythical beast animated by two people inside it) and Rangda (personification of negative in form a scary witch). They are accompanied by Balaganjur orchestras and groups of singers, which sing traditional hymns.

For Balinese who live far away from the sea they come to the sea early in the morning using dozens of trucks, hundreds of cars and thousands of motorcycles some villages start their journey to the beach around 1 AM. As for the villages near the sea, they usually come to the beach in the afternoon on foot; creating a long procession of deities and pilgrims. The flow of the deities and the pilgrims to the beach does not stop until late in the evening.

Melasti turns the beach which usually crowded by tourists or hawkers into the sea of pilgrims; for a day the beach is in the hand of the deities and their followers.

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