One of the biggest purification rituals in Bali is the Melasti ceremony, or Mekiyis or Melis. It is performed as a ritual to cleanse the world from all the filth of sin and bad karma through acquiring the Tirtha Amerta, or the water of life.
People in Bali usually hold this ceremony between 2 and 4 days before Nyepi Day. Because it is only performed during Nyepi, the melasti ceremony is a special ceremony that is performed only once a year. During this ceremony, village communities travel together from their village to the nearest source of holy water.
Uniquely, the Melasti ceremony carries Pratima (the place of God's symbol) accompanied by offerings, umbrellas, banners, weapons, traditional Bleganjur music, and traditional white clothes. All members of the Balinese Hindu community will come and fill the beach with this ceremony.
The majority of people in Bali adhere to Hinduism. The basic concept of Balinese Hinduism is Tri Hita Karana, which is to establish a harmonious relationship between the three aspects of happiness. The implementation is carried out through ceremonial activities. Through the ceremony, the Balinese are expected not to forget God, each other, or the environment. Even we must be united to realize the happiness of life.
The ceremony is part of the three basic frameworks of Hinduism, which aim to achieve perfection, happiness, and prosperity in life as well as inner and outer purity for Balinese Hindus. The implementation of Hindu ceremonies in Bali can be divided into five ceremonies (Panca Yadnya), such as Dewa Yadnya, Pitra Yadnya, Rsi Yadnya, Manusa Yadnya, and Bhuta Yadnya.
The priest presides over the implementation of the Melasti ceremony.
Balinese people generally carry out religious ritual activities based on traditions inherited from their ancestors. One of the religious ritual activities is the Melasti ritual ceremony.
The Melasti ceremony is one of a series of Nyepi Day or Saka New Year ceremonies in which the implementation of Melasti is carried out three days before Nyepi. The implementation of the Melasti ritual is marked by taking holy water called Tirtha Amertha from the sea.
This Melasti ritual is carried out by carrying the symbol of the stana (place) of the gods (Pralingga and Pretima) in their respective temples to the nearest water source. The Hindu community highly respects this Melasti ritual ceremony because the Hindu community believes that by carrying out the Melasti ritual, the community and the entire universe will be clean from all stains and calamities. And the most important thing is being able to maintain a harmonious relationship with God, fellow human beings, and the local natural environment.
The meaning of the Melasti Ceremony is the process of cleansing the mind and body of humans and nature, by washing away all impurities using water. Therefore, the implementation of the Melasti ritual is carried out in water sources such as beaches, rivers, or nearby lakes. This ceremony also aims to ask God to give Hindus the strength to carry out a series of Nyepi Days.
The implementation of the Melasti ritual ceremony, which is full of noble values, is expected to be able to guide Hindus in maintaining their harmonious relationship towards three aspects called Tri Hita Karana, namely establishing a harmonious relationship with God, fellow human beings, and the natural environment.
Rejang dance is a traditional Balinese dance to welcome and entertain the gods who came from heaven and came down to earth. This dance is specifically performed at the time of a traditional or religious ceremony of the Hindu community in Bali.
Some of the beaches that are often used for melasti ceremonies are Padang Galak, Sanur, and Kuta beaches. Where the place is also a tourist attraction that is often filled with foreign tourists, religious processions like this become a unique and interesting object for tourists. Likewise, Lake Beratan in Bedugul is a sacred place for the implementation of this ceremony. Become an interesting sight for tourists who are on tour.
Watch here the Melasti ceremonies in Kuta Beach year 2023
When you go on a tour in Bali and meet the group of this Melasti ceremony procession. It is hoped that you will be more patient and not honk too much because your trip is slightly delayed. Police officers and village security officers (Pecalang) will help smooth the situation during this religious activity.