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Home » Ritual and Ceremony

The War of Fire  

by on Saturday, 15 May 2010No Comment | 255 views

Paradise Island of Bali holds much unique ritual in its cultural inventory one of them is “perang api” or “war of fire”. This ritual can be found in Jasi and Saren village in Karangasem regency and in Buduk village in Badung regency. The “war of fire” is usually held on Pangrupukan day, the day before the silent day (nyepi). In Buduk village this ritual is held annually on Pangrupukan day, in Jasi it is also held on Pangrupukan day but only once every two year while in Saren village it is held annually on the waxing moon in accordance with temple festival (ngusaba dalem).

One of the priests from Jasi village, Jero Mangku Wayan Laga stated that the ritual symbolizes the purification of universe and human body trough fire; fire can burn all the negative and restore the dharma (righteousness). Some say that it symbolizes the war within ourselves, the war against Sad Ripu or six enemies within our self, they are: kama (lust), loba (greed), krodha (anger), mada (drunkeness), moha (confusion) and Matsarya (envy)

The War of Fire ritual is proceeded by the purification of all implements that is going to be used in the ritual. After the purification, the coir is lit, then the participants are divided into two groups, each group grabs the burning coir and throws it to the opposing group. Sometimes some participants chase the others with burning coir in the hand ready to slam it to the targets when they catch their targets.  During this ritual no lamp or light are allowed to switch on so the participants will never know the one who attack them to avoid vengeance after the ritual. Many participants got some burns on their bodies but they said tat they did not feel any pain and they believe that the fire has burned their negative energy.

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