The Balinese Honeymoon
Honeymoon is not always taken right after the wedding, for Balinese, there is possibility that honeymoon precedes the wedding ceremony, especially when the married involving elopement of the bride. Sometimes, a Balinese man who in love with a Balinese woman, makes the marriage arrangements directly with her, with the help from some of his friends sometimes without her parents’ permission. He keeps his intention secret until the day, previously agreed upon between the boy and the girl, when he will steal her. Shy couples simply run away together to the house of a friend, where they spent honeymoon in hiding.
Special offerings have been taken beforehand to the hide-out, and once safely there, it is law that the couple must consummate the wedding before the offerings have wilted. This is extremely important as these offerings alone make the marriage binding. The couple enjoy their honeymoon while remains in hiding, going out as little as possible, until the negotiation with the girl’s father and all arrangements are concluded, and a lucky day is established for the return of the couple to the boy’s house. Representative of the boy – his father and his relatives – come to the girls house, if possible on the day the girl is taken, to inform her parents and to try to placate them, since the tradition demands them to appear outraged although, they may approve the boy.
Going for a honeymoon right after the wedding is out of question for most of the Balinese, since there are usually many important works to be taken after the wedding such as cleaning the house and the wedding party’s utensils, distributing the gifts for those who help the preparation of the wedding ceremony, etc.
Moreover taking a long vacation without any relation with religious activities such as pilgrimage is a foreign idea for the Balinese, especially for the newly married couple since they now begin to take the socio-religious responsibility from the groom’s parent. The couple usually take a short trip without staying overnight to lakes, monkey forests, Bedugul Botanical Garden, beaches or other tourist destinations.