What is Melasti?

On Sunday 25th March 2017 it was the first part of the three-day Balinese new year ceremony. It is Melasti ceremony, which in this ceremony all the villagers travel to the sea for pray and purify their mind with the cleansing energy of the sea.

Throughout the day different Balinese villages would collect their holy attributes from the temples and travel to the sea. The Man will bring various colorful of flags on a spear that has pictures of each Balinese Gods. Then each village would travel to a specific beach where the Melasti cleansing has traditionally taken place. Here in Tabanan we went from the villages to this beautiful black sandy, Kelecung beach.

Melasti clothes, Sahaja sawah resort, Bali
Melasti, bali, SSahaja Sawah Resort expierence

The Ceremony

Local people flooded to the beach as trucks of families arrived with their offerings. Full of happy children, traditional music as incense filled the air are created a great atmosphere.

We watched the priests one by one cleanse their villages holy attributes. These holy attributes are made from coconut, flowers, palm leaves, and some other fruits. Other than is we see that each village will bring their Barong and Rangda mask. This is in Bali are believed symbolize of their ancestor who has mystical power. Which is Barong symbolize the power of the male and Rangda symbolize the power of the female.

Melasti Sahaja Sawah Resort Bali

Each family from the villages would bring offerings such as flowers, fruits and incense held together by coconut and banana leaves. Together they would then pray for the cleansing of themselves and the villages before sending their offerings out to sea on a bamboo altar.

As well as the local family offering, it is believed that a live animal should be offered, often a duck or a cow. In Balinese tradition, this is believed to keep the bad spirits away.

Melasti Sahaja Sawah resort Bali

During the cleansing ritual, it is common for locals to begin playing the gamelan, start singing and dancing as part of the ceremony. As music filled the atmosphere it is not uncommon for Balinese people to enter a trance state (kerauhan).

Often dropping to the floor and taking on a spirit of either a warrior, dancer or even animal like a tiger or monkey. Once the priest has taken all of the offerings to the sea the families returned to their trucks and scooters and returned home, ready for the next day Ogoh Ogoh parade.