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Ngelawang Tradition in Bali during Galungan and Kuningan Holiday

21 October 2009

If you happen to spend holiday in Bali during the celebration of Galungan and Kuningan festivities on October 12-25, 2009, you will be definitely see a sacred street arts. It poses an art performance from door to door and from village to village called ngelawang or gallivanting show. During such holidays, Balinese people will organize ngelawang by carrying their sacred effigies throughout their village pursuant to local tradition.

Sacred effigies they carry regularly in the form of barong, rangda, barong kedengkling or other pratima in accordance with their respective tradition. However, the most commonplace on show is barong bangkung (wild boar) and accompanied by dancers wearing various masks. The show itself is backed with simple gamelan music and sometimes with a storyline. A sense of togetherness and mutual assistance are discernible in that performance activity. To preserve the art, every year ngelawang becomes a special agenda in the Bali Arts Festival (BAF).

Hindu community in Bali truly believe that such ngelawang procession constitutes a sacred activity to expel evil spirits and diseases disturbing human beings, including in niskala (invisible) manner to drive out those that would like to disorganize the security of Bali. In the past, before television broadcast has spread out to every nook and cranny, ngelawang activity as this became a village entertainment where most part residents were farmers. The show will take place for some 10-15 minutes in front of the door of each house compound was believed to have capability exuding sacred vibration so that residents were avoided from any disaster and disease. Having completed the show, residents would put offering or canang sari to their honored sacred effigy as gratitude.

So, please come and enjoy the gelawang procession in Bali in festive mood who knows you also acquire sacred vibration and keep you away from any disaster and you could live in happy life. This procession remains to run in regular tradition in Badung, Tabanan and Gianyar Regency.



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