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Balinese Hindus Celebrate Pagerwesi

on 2013/8/19 4:22:12 ( 1874 reads )


BALI, INDONESIA, August 15, 2013 (The Jakarta Post): Balinese Hindu devotees celebrated Pagerwesi on Wednesday by performing prayers in temples throughout the island. In some parts of the island, Pagerwesi is a minor religious holiday, not on par with Galungan and Kuningan, during which the Balinese Hindus celebrate the victory of virtues over vices.

In Buleleng, the northern coastal region, however, Pagerwesi, is a major event, and the locals celebrate it in a lively way. For many people in Buleleng, this has always been considered a time to show their love to their family. Hence, Buleleng natives who work in other cities in Bali return home to celebrate Pagerwesi with their families.

From early morning, people flocked to Kahyangan Tiga temples -- the three temples dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Siva -- in their villages. Together with family, they also visited their ancestral temples.

For Buleleng natives, the celebration always ends with a prayer performed in cemeteries to pay homage to deceased relatives who have not yet been cremated. The living present an offering of rice, cakes and fruit to the deceased and at the end of the ritual they feast on the offering.

Pagerwesi -- which means iron fence -- is observed every 210 days to honor Sanghyang Pramesti Guru, or God as the "teacher" of the universe. Sanghyang Pramesti Guru is also referred to as Siva and believed to be the manifestation of God who destroyed all evil in the world.

Hindu scholar Ketut Wiana said that the celebration of Pagerwesi symbolized worship of God as the true teacher. "Living without a teacher means living without guidance," Wiana stated.

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