Melasti is the big cleansing ceremony that precedes Nyepi and marks beginning of the Balinese New Year. All across the island, processions wend their way down to the beaches and the sea. Some come packed into trucks, their cymbals clashing, gongs resonating proudly.  Others walk, sometimes several miles, in bright colourful processions, dotted with yellow umbrellas.

TEXT AND Photo by ayu sekar

Melasti is the big cleansing ceremony that precedes Nyepi and marks beginning of the Balinese New Year. All across the island, processions wend their way down to the beaches and the sea. Some come packed into trucks, their cymbals clashing, gongs resonating proudly.  Others walk, sometimes several miles, in bright colourful processions, dotted with yellow umbrellas.  Trails of people, men carrying gongs, others shouldering heavy bamboo lifts that hold the precious iconic symbols of the gods, march on to the sea.

They all have the same purpose, to bring their religious treasures and paraphernalia for a spiritual cleansing, before the start of the Balinese New Year and Nyepi. The beaches where the ceremonies take place are designated holy places and intricate time tables are drawn up so that each banjar (smallest community unit) can be accommodated. Some go to the beaches of the south, villagers from the Ubud area go to the beaches near Sukawati, and people from Klung Kung go to the bright black beaches in the east.

Everyone dresses in white, which makes a beautiful and stark contrast to the black sand beaches of the east. Purification is the order of the day, and even the ornate and sacred barongs are taken to the water’s edge to be splashed with holy water and to keep them in good condition for the year. 

 

About Author :

NOW! BALI

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER TO GET THE LATEST UPDATES.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

Related Posts

Leave a Comment