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Pagerwesi: Balinese Way to protect science and self-fortify

Pagerwesi: Balinese Way to protect science and self-fortify

by Maya

Whenever you come to Bali, you will see Balinese wearing attire, making offerings, or praying to temples. Those are not surprising because Bali has so many things to be celebrated and thanked for. There are some things that are celebrated every year, every six months, every month, or even every day. All of them are unique and different to each other. One of them is Pagerwesi. This word may be weird for you, but this also may impress you.

Have you ever heard about how science could protect humans and why humans protect science/knowledge? Then, how do Balinese celebrate it? Why is it important to be celebrated? Read on, and find the answers!

Pagerwesi in Bali
Photo source: Adam Valstar

What is Pagerwesi?

Pagerwesi is derived from two words of Balinese; Pager means ‘fence’ and Wesi means ‘iron’. The Pagerwesi or iron fence represents strong self-protection. Pagerwesi is a spiritual way of Balinese to fence off themselves that Balinese named as Magehang Awak. Pagerwesi falls once every six months or 210 day, precisely on the day on Buda (Wednesday) Kliwon Wuku Sinta. The determination of Pagerwesi is based on Hindu calendar (pawukon). Pagerwesi is also well-known as Rerahinan Gumi which means celebrated by all Hindu.

The Pagerwesi day is strongly related to the Saraswati day, a unique celebration of knowledge that comes down to earth. The Saraswati Day falls four days before Pagerwesi day, exactly on the day of Saniscara Wuku Watugunung. Besides Saraswati day, there are also some holidays that fall before Pagerwesi day.

Pagerwesi Holiday Series
Photo source: Ruben Hutabarat

Pagerwesi Holiday Series

Banyu Pinaruh

Banyu Pinaruh falls the following Sunday after the Saraswati day. On this day Banlinese do self-purification by washing their body in the sea or a spring water in the early morning. On this day, Balinese also present offerings to the Supreme God and pray at their house and temples in order to invoke that the knowledge they have received can be used wisely. 

Soma Ribek

The following day after Banyu Pinaruh, precisely on the day of Soma (Monday) wara pon wuku Sinta is a food day named Soma Ribek. On this day Balinese worship Sang Hyang Tri Pramana (Goddess Sri, Bhatara Sadhana, and Goddess Saraswati) in gratitude for the existence of the food. Soma Ribek is celebrated by stopping agricultural activities for a day such as being forbidden to pound rice, grind rice, etc. All agricultural equipment such as the hinges, hoes, mats, etc are purified with offerings. The prayer focuses on the barn or rice containers.

Sabuh Mas

The following day of Soma Ribek  is Sabuh Mas which comes from two words, those are Sabuh means spread and Mas means gold. Sabuh Mas is a celebration for treasures like jewelry both gold and silver, gems, beads, and other things. The Sabuh Mas falls on the day of Anggara (Tuesday) wara wage wuku Sinta, a day before Pagerwesi.

The meaning of Pagerwesi
Photo source: Wisnu Widjojo

The meaning of Pagerwesi?

The philosophical meaning of Pagerwesi day is a symbol of the determination of faith, fencing off themselves with the guidance of science, so that they won’t experience bad things. People protect science/knowledge they have gotten so that it will always be used for good things, well-maintained, and keep being a strong way of life, and won’t be misused. 

God Siva
Photo source: Marisa

Balinese Activities on Pagerwesi Day

On Pagerwesi day people are praying at the temple of their house, and then pray to other temples outside. People worship Sang Hyang Pramesti Guru (the other name of God Siva) who is the teacher of mankind. Besides that, Pagerwesi is the best day to do Yoga and meditate, do self-purification, and beg for grace and power to Sang Hyang Pramesti Guru. Those are essential to do in order to build personal fortification, strengthening mind and soul with science and power, because it is the genuine and the major fence. 

This kind of celebration makes Bali as a spiritual island and one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you are interested in knowing more about other unique celebrations in Bali, come to Dedary Kyiramaha Ubud, and it’s our pleasure to share everything with you. It is also possible for you to practice making offerings, practicing Balinese dance here in Dedary Kriyamaha Ubud, or even go to some temples. Book directly right now, and we will set everything for you!

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