We all probably know that Balinese has lots of ritual and ceremony according to their Hindu believes. Ritual for temples, houses, even the things they use daily such as cars or motor cycle.
The rituals are not just for the stuff around them but also for them self. There are also many ceremony connected to the humans it self, and the starter is the ritual cycle of a child in Bali. It is a ritual cycle from life to death of a child.
The Child Ritual Cycle consist of 12 points, and those points are :
- Gedong-gedongan : on the 8th month (Gregorian calendar/7th month Balinese calendar) of pregnancy to ask blessings for an easy birth. The pregnant woman and her husband wade into the river, where eels and small fish are placed face down on her protruding belly to show the baby the right way out!
- Birth: Only the husband and the midwife/doctor are allowed to hold the placenta or after birth, then washed and buried on the right side(if it’s a boy) of the northern pavilion or on the left side(if a girl). With it are buried a comb, a dance fan, a pen, a book—whatever the family wishes the child will grow up to enjoy. After that the parents are not allowed to go into the kitchen for three days.
- Three Days after birth: the parents undergo a simple cleansing ritual so they can then go into the kitchen again.
- Rorasin: 12 days after the birth the umbilical cord has usually fallen off. This is placed in a special shrine dedicated to Kumara, the Guardian of Babies.
- 42-day ceremony: Once a baby has reached this age, a rather large ritual is performed for her/him. This is to ensure that her/his development will continue unhindered. One of the things done at this time is that a baby chick and baby duck are brought in to peck off/dust off cooked rice that is on the baby’s third eye. This is to show the child how to use her hands and feet as well as her mouth to gather food, as the animals do. She is placed under a cockfighting basket where she grabs items that have previously been placed into a clay pot. It is said that whatever she grabs is her vocation.
- Three month ceremony: This is also quite a grand ceremony that all the relatives and neighbors are invited to. This marks the first time a child touches the ground for the first time (he is carried everywhere previously). In some villages, this is when the child is “replaced” by a dressed up eggplant or cucumber. The priest sings the praises of the the eggplant so that spirits of chaos that might be lurking around will follow the eggplant when it’s thrown out the front door, while the real baby stays protected.
- Odalan or six months (210 days) ceremony. This is the baby’s birthday and will be celebrated ritually every 6 months. But no birthday cakes here!
- Three odalans is traditionally when the child has her or his hair cut off and head shaved to represent purity.
- Menek kelih or puberty. Not all castes perform this ceremony. It happens when the girl gets her period and the boy’s voice cracks. They are paraded around the village announcing to all that they are now adults (and in the olden days, ready to marry)
- Tooth filing: In their late teens, Balinese get the top middle teeth filed; this symbolizes the filing away of greed, anger, lust, drunkenness, envy and confusion.
- Wedding: the ultimate fusion of male and female
- Death: within death, there are a number of rites. The first is the ritual cleansing of the corpse by the family and the banjar(neighborhood), then comes the burial or the cremation (if the family can afford to cremate right away, they will choose that option) and then the post-crematory purification rites where the soul becomes a deity that shall be worshipped in the family temple.