Pagerwesi - Ubud, Bali

Yesterday the holy holiday of Pagerwesi wrapped up nearly a weeklong celebration in Ubud.

Pagerwesi Morning.

Pagerwesi Morning.

This year Pagerwesi was extra special because it fell on the full moon and the total lunar eclipse. 

All week the temple at Campuhan (Pura Gunung Lebah) was a little hive of activity - processionals left and arrived daily through town and the surrounding villages. 

Families came from all over Bali to leave their offerings at the temple - it was busy.  On somedays the police would hustle us past the temple because we didn't have on a sarong - we have to walk past the temple to come into town from our house - we quickly got smart and timed our trips home so we weren't being overly disrespectful.

Pagerwesi falls every 210 days on the Balinese Holy Calendar.  It can be roughly translated as 'Iron Fence' and symbolizes a battle between good and evil.  Specifically, it's a day when the Balinese strengthen their minds and spiritual selves against evil forces.  

Offerings left at the top of the lane.  Coconut, banana and rice.  

Offerings left at the top of the lane.  Coconut, banana and rice.  

Pagerwesi comes close on the tails of Saraswati which celebrates knowledge - so an extra emphasis is placed on protecting knowledge from evil.

During the day our little street was silent which is so, so rare.  Normally, there are motorbikes zooming around from fairly early on.

Basket of Canang Sari for the compound.  Lots of rice balls.

Basket of Canang Sari for the compound.  Lots of rice balls.

Around my little house a strong emphasis was placed on warding off bad or evil spirits.  Almost like a cleansing ritual.  Water was sprinkled in all corners of the yard - extra incense was burned and extra robust Canang Sari (if you follow me on instagram this is what I've been documenting) were left.

Mama leaving her canang sari.

Mama leaving her canang sari.

Once it started to get dark out and we could spot the moon low on the horizon processions started coming up the hill.

Can you spot the moon?  It's about half way in shadow.

Can you spot the moon?  It's about half way in shadow.

The first group was smaller and just rang a bell at every house along the street but, once it was dark and the moon had completely darkened a large processional came through banging drums and really making some noise.   

Long exposure shot of the festivities down the road - the long red streak on the left had side is a moped tail light that passed me on the lane.  Night photo!

Long exposure shot of the festivities down the road - the long red streak on the left had side is a moped tail light that passed me on the lane.  Night photo!

Our host explained to us that this celebration was a time when they prayed not just for themselves and Bali but for the whole world.  It's also a time when everyone is welcome at the Temple to leave offerings (I think this might be in reference to a cast system).

In the west the full moon following the Harvest Moon is called the Hunter Moon.   After the harvest the fields are stubbly and a Hunter can ride over them with ease quickly spotting animals who can no longer hide amongst the plants...or so the story goes. 

I hope you all were able to see the total lunar eclipse wherever you were in the world! 

 

 

As always please excuse the awkard photo editing and lack of real information.  I had a really hard time learning who was being prayed to and what the offerings meant.