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Tumpek Wayang: A Day for Puppet  

by on Saturday, 6 February 2010No Comment | 282 views

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Saturday, February 6, 2010, Balinese-Hindu follower will celebrate the sacred Tumpek Wayang day. The Tumpek Wayang takes its name from the name of week of its occasion. It is celebrated every 210 days, in the 27th week of Balinese Pawukon cycle (a cycle consist of 30 weeks).


On this sacred day, a set of special offering is presented to to Sanghyang Iswara, Lord of Puppeteers. This holiday is the most important day for owners of leather puppets and puppeteers when they give special homage to their leather puppets (wayang). The puppets are taken from their box (keropak), placed in position just as if an actual performance were being given and blessed by the owner. A dalang (puppeteer) will remove all his puppets from storage – as many as 100 of them – and set them all up to receive the offerings.

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Although this sacred day is a holiday for puppets and puppeteers, but it is considered very unlucky if a baby is born on this day. Such a child is prone to illness and injury from Kala, the demon god, and if such an event should take place on this inopportune day, a special ceremony has to be performed in order to purify the child and protect it from harm.

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This purification ceremony is called sudamala. It is carried out by a dalang (puppeteer) after a night or day Wayang Sapuleger performance in which the dalang narrates a story about the birth of Kala, the demon god and how dalang receives special blessing from Kala that enables him to purify the baby that born in this unlucky day. With the help of certain puppets, the dalang carries out the ceremony, and makes a holy water (toya penglukatan) that is used to purify the baby. Pregnant women also need this holy water in order to save and protect their babies from Kala.

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In some area in Bali, the celebration of Tumpek Wayang is preceded by the maseselat ritual that is held on Friday, February 5, 2010. The offering for maseselat ritual consists of thorny pandan wong leaf (Pandanus sp.div) and laluun pabuan (all spices in the betel chew box). It is also completed with coconut shells for containing adem (spittle and betel residue). Pandan wong leaf will be painted with the image of tampak dara using the spittle and betel residue, then the painted pandan wong leaf is hung in front of the gate of the house compound. The meaning of maseselat ritual is to plead for kerahayuan (welfare) and kedirgayusaan (long life), free from disruption of Kala.

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