The Grand Bhatara Turun Kabeh Ceremony
Thursday (4/9/09) which concurs with the full moon of the tenth month (Kadasa) of Balinese Caka calendar, the Grand Bhatara Turun Kabeh Ceremony (gods descend all together) will be held in Besakih, the mother temple of Bali.
The Bhatara Turun Kabeh Ceremony is held once a year on the full moon of Kadasa, but a Grand Bhatara Turun Kabeh Ceremony is held once every five years. The ceremony last until Friday (4/24/09). Balinese believe that when this ceremony is held when the Gods of all the temples on Bali gather in the main temple (Penataran Agung) of Besakih temple complex.
Like people, the gods that descend to attend this grand ceremony need to be sheltered, fed and entertained. The temple and offerings take care of the room and board, and the entertainment is provided by music and dances. Hundreds of musicians and dancers will give their best performance to entertain the Gods in this grand ceremony. There will be a lot of festivities in the Penataran Agung for weeks.
Another magnificent part of the Bhatara Turun Kabeh ceremony is the pilgrimage of hundreds of thousands of people from all over the island to the Besakih in order to pay homage to the gods that gather there. The roads will be packed with busloads, carloads, and even truckloads of visiting worshippers bearing offerings from afar. During the period of this grand ceremony, the temple will filled with magnificent offerings, and its courtyard will be packed with throngs of visitors deeply submerged in their prayer.
The pilgrims will not just pay homage to the Gods but also show their devotion to their respective ancestors in each Pedharman (clan) temple that spread all over Besakih temple complex. It is a customary for the Balinese to visit the Pedharman (clan) temple when they make a pilgrimage to the main temple (Penataran Agung) of Besakih temple complex.
Many of the worshippers after pay homage to the Penataran Agung and Pedharman temple will stop for a picnic lunch on the grass strip outside the temple courtyard. There they will eat the left-over of the offering that they bring to the temple – God having consummated the essence and the non-edible parts left back at temple.