On the 14th of this month, the gods of Kesiman community in East Denpasar are summoned back to earth by their devotees in a spiritual festivity that draws more public attention than similar religious occasions elsewhere in Bali. 

On the 14th of this month, the gods of Kesiman community in East Denpasar are summoned back to earth by their devotees in a spiritual festivity that draws more public attention than similar religious occasions elsewhere in Bali. 

The event is the anniversary of the royal temple of the kingdom of Kesiman in East Denpasar, Pura Dalem Petilan Pengerebongan Kesiman. On that day, residence of Kesiman stage a series of rituals that culminate in the presence of divine forces from all over the village through a mass trance. At the peak of the ceremony, throng of laymen starts to scream, struggle, and stab themselves with kris dagger without getting hurt. And when the beat of the gamelan orchestra picks up tempo, others in the crowd, including women, begin to show similar disposition. With their eyes shut people start to move their bodies in a dance that they have never done before.

Pengerebongan in Kesiman was initiated by the first ruler of the land in the 19th century when he invited his subjects into his personal place of worship to exalt their divine protectors together. Pengerebongan ceremony was meant to forge unity between all supernatural and natural entities in the realm. What transpires is a powerful all-day-long communion between the gods and men in a mystical festivity that serves as a cultural identity of the people of Kesiman. 

 

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