THE "INCREDIBLE BUSYNESS" OF BALI, in Margaret Mead's apt phrase, produces an endless stream of festivals, anniversaries, celebrations, dances, dramas, and offerings. And none of these myriad events takes place without an auspicious date first being picked for it. There are good days - dewasa luwung - and bad days - dewasa jelek - for doing any of these things. Even seemingly ordinary activities, such as chopping wood or building a house, can only be undertaken when the day is right. And keeping track of all these good and bad, proper and dangerous dates are no less than three independent calendar systems.In Bali, two very different systems are overlaid on the familiar Western calendar -the 210-day Pawukon calendar, and the Saka lunar calendar.

Pawukon calendar
The Pawukon cycle appears extremely complex to a Westerner because its 210 days are subdivided not according to a simple system of months and weeks, but into ten separate week systems. There is a week that is only one day long, one with two days, one with three, and so on, up to the ten-day week. And they all run concurrently. Each week has been given a Sanskrit-derived name, according to the number of days it has. The three-day week is called Triwara, the five-day week Pancawara, the seven-day week Saptawara, and so on. And each of the days of each of the ten different weeks has a unique name. Thus any given calendar date may have ten diffrrent weekday names, one for each of the ten weeks that are going on simultaneously. The number of day names is 1+2+3+4...+10, a staggering total of 55. Not all these weeks are equally important, however, and most Balinese pay attention to only the three-, five-, and seven-day weeks. The day names of these three week systems are:

TRIWARA (3-day week) PANCAWARA (5-day week) SAPTAWARA (7-day week) 
  • Pasah (alsoBusaya) 
  • Beteng (al'soGalang Tegeh
    or Pekenan)
  • Kajeng 
  • Umanis 
  • Paing (also Pahing) 
  • Pon 
  • Wage 
  • Keliwon (also Kliwon) 
  • Redite (falls on our Sunday) 
  • Coma (Monday) 
  • Anggara (Tuesday) 
  • Buda or Budha (Wednesday) 
  • Wraspati (Thursday) 
  • Sukra (Friday) 
  • Saniscara (Saturday) 
  no special name 
  Buda Cemeng 
  Anggara Kasih 
Tumpek is one of the most interesting of the coincidence dates. As mentioned above, Tumpek occurs six times in every Pawukon and each of these dates is separately important.

Tumpek Landep
The first Tumpek to take place every cycle is Tumpek Landep, the Saturday of Landep, the second week of the Pawukon. This is a day of offerings to weapons of war, particularly the sacred kris short swords, but also guns or other weapons. If a family owns such a weapon, on Tumpek Landep it is reverently unsheathed in the family temple, sprinkled with holy water, and presented with offerings of woven coconut leaves, flowers, and fruits. Incense and sandalwood are burned, and family members, a lay priest, or a balian - a kind of shaman - offer prayers. The balian will know the proper mantras for the weapon.  Although originally specified for weapons of war, the chief recipients of attention on Tumpek Landep today are motorcycles, trucks, and automobiles which, though certainly lethal weapons, seem hardly to be what the founders of Balinese Hinduism had imagined.

Tumpek Uduh
Tumpek Uduh falis five weeks later on Saturday of Wariga, the seventh week This day has many alternate names, including Tumpek Nyuh ( coconut"). This is a day to offer respect to trees, particularly the coconut palm that are important to the livelihood of the Baliriese. In South Bali the trees are dressed in traditional Balinese clothes, complete with a headband, tlie udeng, a kilt-like kamben, and a special scarf, saput, as a belt. Then the tree is hit ceremonially with a hammer to notify it that offerings are nearby and to ask it to produce abundant fruit.

       The third Tumpek is the most important, partially because it is also a Kajeng Keliwon and partly because it marks the end of the most important of the regular religious ceremonies, called Galungan.

Tumpek Kuningan
Tumpek Kuningan, usually called just Kuningan, takes place on the Saturday of the 12th week of the Pawukon cycle, which is the Tumpek's namesake. The activities of Kuningan - which comes from the word for "yellow," kuning, because the turmeric in rice offerings gives them this color - is part of the elaborate Galungan ceremony which will be described below.

Tumpek Krulut
On the 17th week Tumpek Krulut takes place, taking its name, like Kuningan, from the week of its occurrence. On this day offerings are made to the musical instruments, masks, and dance costumes used in many of the religious ceremonies in Ball. The instruments and other paraphernalia are decorated with coconut leaf offerings, and holy water is sprinkled over them. Sometimes the members of the group that uses the instruments and the costumes and masks gather to pray and be blessed also. There is some variation to this practice. In some parts of Ball Tumpek Knilut is ignored, and homage is paid to these objects on the last Tumpek of the Pawukon.

Tumpek Kandang
Tumpek Kandang, sometimes called Tumpek Andang, falls five weeks later, on Saturday of Uye, the 22d week of the Pawukon cycle. The name comes from kandang, the Balinese word for the household animal pen, because this is the day to honor domestic animals, especially cows and pigs, which are higlaly valued by the Balinese. The cows are washed, kambens, just like those humans wear, are thrown over their backs, and special cone-shaped spirals of coconut leaf are placed on their horns. The pigs are usually just decorated by wrapping a white cloth about their bellies. The animals are given special foods, prayers are offered, and they are sprinkled with rice and holy water.

Tumpek Wayang
The sixth and last of the series, Tumpek Ririggit, or Tumpek Wayang, is again a Kajeng Keliwon, and thus particularly important. Some areas of Ball use this date for making offerings to musical instruments and dance equip-ment. But this day is always the most important for the shadow play pup-pets, the wayang kulit. Many families have inherited puppets from an ancestor who performed them, a dalang. Of course, all dalangs have sets of them. The puppets are taken from their box, placed in position just as if an actual performance were being given, and blessed by the owner. A dalang will remove all his puppets from storage - as many as 100 of them - and set them all up to receive the offerings. It is considered very unlucky if a baby is born on this date, and if such an event should take place on this inopportune day, a special ceremony has to be performed in order to puri~ the child and protect it from harm.

GALUNGAN DAYS. The ten days between Wednesday of Dunggulan, the 11th week, and Saturday of Kuningan, the 12th week, are a period called Galungan, or the Galungan Days, starring on the day Galungan and ending on the day Kuningan. During this period the most important regular reli-gious celebration in the Pawukon cycle is held. The deified ancestors of the family descend to their former homes during Galangan, and they must be entertained, and welcomed with prayers and offerings. Families with deceased relatives who are buried and have not yet been cremated thus not yet deified must make offerings at the graves. Everyone gets to work. Penjors, long bamboo poles hung with offerings, are erected everywhere. The tops of the penjors arching over the narrow roads look for all the world like the top of a gothic cathedral. Commerce practically ceases during the Galungan Days. Schools are closed, and the normal life of the village concentrates exclusively upon the events sur-rounding this very sacred period. On the Sunday before Galungan, called Penyekeban, from sekeb, "to cover up," green bananas are sealed in huge clay pots upon which a small coconut husk fire burns. Lots of bananas are required for Galungan offerings, and this heat treatment ripens them quickly. The next day, Penyajaan, is devoted to making the many colored cakes of fried rice dough, jaja, that are so loved by the Balinese and used in many ceremonies as offerings. The village markets are flill of jaja of every description in case a busy housewife has no time to make them herself. On the day before Galungan, called Penampahan - from nampab, "to slaugh-ter an animal" - pigs or turtles are killed for the traditional Galungan morning feasts. Featured at these feasts is the traditional lawar, a spicy hash made of lihely ground turtle meat or pork and dozens of spices. Five differ-ent kinds of hash are prepared, as are sticks of sate'. Galungan day is a time for prayer, family get-togethers, and offerings. Almost no work is accomplished between then and Kburigan day. The day after Galungan - called Manis Galungan because it falls on the day Umanis of the five-day week - is a time for visiring friends, and the roads are jammed with cars and motorcycles. Kuningan marks the end of the Galungan celebration. It is a time f6r family groups, prayers, and still more offerings, as the ancestors return to heaven. (Actually this return is sup-posed to be five days alter Galungan, and the arrival of the ancestors is five days before Galungan, but not many people know that, and it really makes little difference.) The day alter Kuningan is usually called Manis Kuningan (even though it falls in the next week, Langkir), and is a time for a holiday, visiting, and flin. There are two interpretations of the three Sugian days. Some people accept both. Many know of neither. One is that this period is symbolic of the Mayadenawa story (See CHAPTER 4). Sugian Tenten, from enten remember," or "wake up," should bring to mind the triumph df adharma

Kajeng Kliwon
The most important of these conjunction days takes place when the last days of the three- and five-day weeks coincide. It is named after the two days, Kajeng and Keliwon, and occurs every 15 days. Kajeng Keliwon is a good day for prayers, and many temple anniversary festivals and other religious ceremonies are held on Kajeng Keliwon. But the day is also especially dangerous because evil spirits are about. Every family makes special offerings to guard against the spirits doing any harm.
There are five important conjunction days, all of which involve coincidences between one of the days of the seven-day week and one of the days of the five-dayweek. Each of these conjunction dates repeats at 35-day intervals, since all are specified by coincidences between days of the five- and seven-day weeks. And they go in regular cycles

Lunar Calendar
This Hindu calendar had its origins in South India during the reign of a ruler by that name. The Saka calendar is a lunar calendar. Each of the 12 lunar months ends on a new moon, called Tilem. The calendar begins the day after the new moon that ends the ninth lunar month - almost always in Gregorian March. New Year's Day, the first day of the 10th lunar month, is called Nyepi and is an important religious day. The Saka year numbering system is 78 years behind the Gregorian system. It is not unusual for calendar systems to begin in March, around the time of the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and the general re-awak-ening from the cold and dreariness of winter. Although Bali has no winter, parts of India do, and the Saka calendar came from India. Even Gregorian calendar month names reflect this: although October is our tenth month, November the eleventh, and December the twelfth, the names of the months are derived from the Latin words for eight, nine, and ten, because the year originally began in what we now call March.

PAWUKON BEGINNING/END CELEBRATION. The end and beginning of the current Pawukon cycle is punctuated with ceremony, although the celebration is not as grand as Galungan. The very last day of the Pawukon, Saturday of the 30th week, Watugunung, is a special day for Saraswati, goddess of learning and wife of Brahma. Her festival day is a time for making offerings for books, especially the sacred lontar palm leaf books. All books are the subject of devotion on this day. One is not supposed to read on Hari Raya Saraswati, however. Schools have special ceremonies, and students jam the big temple, Pura Jagat Natha, in Denpasar, for a special early-morning ceremony in wluch they pray for success in their studies. The next four days, the first four of the new Pawukon cycle, are special religious days. They are most fervently celebrated in North Bali, where some people put up penjors just as for Galungan, and where special offerings are made for the uncremated dead in the cemeteries. The climax of these four days is on Wednesday of the first week of the Pawukon, a day called Pagerwesi, coming from two words meaning "iron fence." The suggestion is that one should surround oneself with a strong fortification against the forces of evil. Pagerwesi is also a day upon which an ancient battle between good and evil is celebrated. The three days preceding Pagerwesi have special names and are for special activities. Sunday, the first day of the Pawukon, is called Banyu Penaruh. Many people who live near the sea go to the beach at dawn and symbolically puri themselves by bathing. This is a special day for fishermen, who make offerings for their boats and nets. Monday is called Comaribek, a day that is not widely cele-brated. Tuesday is Sabuh-Emas, when one is supposed to make offerings for jewelry, especially that of gold, and for the Chinese coins that are often used in offerings.

ANNIVERSARIES. Many Balinese anniversaries are observed according to the Pawukon cycle. The Balinese refer to a period of five seven-day weeks as one month. There are no "months" on the Pawukon calendar, but a division of the 210 days into six 35-day periods conveniently approxirnates the lunar month of a little over 29 days. The first really big ceremony for a newborn child occurs after three of these "months," or 105 days. The ceremony is called ngelubulanin, from telu, "three," and bulan, "month." A child's first birthday, called an oton, takes place six "months" after birth. At this ceremony the baby is allowed to touch the ground for the first time. The Balinese consider it base for a baby to crawl around on the ground, animal-like, so young babies are always carried. When they touch the ground at their oton) a colorfiil ceremony is held. In some areas they are covered by a cage like those used for fighting cocks. In fishing areas a circular throwing net is flung over mother and child. Lots of offerings are made, and many prayers are said for the health and wealth of the baby. From this oton comes the oft-heard saying that a Balinese has two "birthdays" a year. He doesn't really. Many people do celebrate their otons after growing up, but it is a rather private affair, with only prayers and an offering. And it doesn't come twice a year, but rather once every Pawukon cycle - six Balinese "months," or 210 days. Often the calendar date of a birthday is forgotten. It is only the Pawukon date and the year that is remembered. For example, my friend Budi knows that he was born in 1953 on Redite-Menail - Sunday of the 23d week.


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