The Ceremony of the Goddess of Knowledge in Bali

Bali is well known with thousands of tradition because there are so many different traditions held in Bali. Every side and every area in Bali has their own tradition. But there is one of Balinese tradition that held in all areas in Bali. It is also unique thing you can see while you have a holiday in Bali. Well, good day for all! If I talk about Bali there are some of topics can be share. Today I would like to share a little bit about Bali. Besides have so much beautiful tourism destinations, Bali also rich with its culture and unique traditions. One of the unique ceremony in Bali is Saraswati Day. Here is it!

Knowledge is very important for Balinese. Every Saniscara, Umanis, Wuku Watugunung, they celebrate Saraswati Day, the knowledge day. It is based on the Pawukon (Balinese calendar) system and the Saniscara (seven day cycle).

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The name Saraswati came from “Saras” meaning flow and “wati” meaning women. So, Saraswati is symbol of knowledge, its flow (or growth) is like a river and knowledge is very interesting, like a beautiful women.

Saraswati is the Goddess of Knowledge, symbolized by a beautiful woman with four hands, riding on a white swan among water lilies to tell humanity that science is like a beautiful woman. Her hands hold a palm leaf; a lontar, (a Balinese traditional book which is the source of science or knowledge); a chain (genitri with 108 pieces) symbolizing that knowledge is never ending and has an everlasting life cycle; and a musical instrument (guitar or wina) symbolizing that science develops through the growth of culture. The swans symbolize prudence, so that one’s knowledge may distinguish between good and evil and the water lilies (Lotus) are symbols of holiness. The Lotus flower is the holiest for Balinese.

In the afternoon of Saraswati day we are not permitted to read or write the book because all the books are offered. In the evening, called Malam Sastra, people read books (especially religious books) in their houses or in the temple. Well, there is the following ceremony during the Saraswati Day, such as:

  • Pangredanan (the day before Saraswati)

This is the day of preparation. All the books and lontar are collected together, cleaned and dusted.

  • Saraswati Day

Saraswati day itself is celebrated by the Balinese people bringing offerings to their holy books and scrolls in their houses, while students celebrate it at school, usually in the morning, and the office-workers in their office. The philosophy of Saraswati day is that the most important thing for human life is knowledge.

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  • Banyu Pinaruh

The day after Saraswati Day is Banyu Pinaruh day. “Banyu” means water and “Pinaruh” mean wisdom. In other words, we must have wisdom which always a flow like water and which is useful for human kind. We pray for Dewi Saraswati (manifestation of God) to give us cleverness and wisdom. The people usually take a bath in the sea or a lake or river and drink traditional medicine which is made from many various leaves which is very good for our health. The philosophy of Banyu Pinaruh day is the second most important thing for human life is good health.

  • Soma Ribek

Two days after Saraswati Day, on Soma (or Monday), Pon, Wuku Sinta, is Soma Ribek day. “Soma” meaning Monday, and “Ribek” meaning full. On this day, Balinese bring offerings to the rice box. They thank God for food and beverage in their lives and pray to Dewi Sri (Goddess of prosperity, manifestation of God) to give prosperity. This celebration reminds them to be selective when choosing food and not to over eat to improve their health. The philosophy of Soma Ribek day is the third most important thing for human life is food and drink.

  • Sabuh Mas

Three days after Saraswati Day, on Anggara (or Tuesday), Wage, Wuku Sinta, is Sabuh Mas day. “Sabuh” means belt, and “Mas” mean gold. On this day, Balinese bring offerings to the deposit box or the place where they keep their jewelry. They thank Mahadewa (manifestation of God) for cloth, money, gold, etc in our lives. This celebration remind them to be selective when spending money. The philosophy of Sabuh Mas day is the fourth most important thing for human life is cloth and gold, etc.

  • Pagerwesi

Four days after Saraswati Day, on Buda (or Wednesday), Kliwon, Wuku Sinta, is Pagerwesi day. “Pager” meaning fence and “Wesi” meaning iron. On this day, Balinese pray to Sang Hyang Pramesti Guru (manifestation of God). All Balinese have offerings to their Sanggah (temple in their home) and at all of their temples. This is the second biggest holiday after Galungan day for the Balinese. The philosophy of this celebration is that they must keep knowledge, health, food, cloth and gold high in their lives to keep the universe in balance.

 

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