Mar 23

Hindu Melasti Ceremony @ Petitengit Temple and Beach in Bali/Indonesia.Having watched the Melasti and Nyepi Processions here in Bali over the last couple of days; it leaves me still in awe with its colours and sounds. Thousands of people processing from temples to the beaches on the ‘Island of the Gods’.

Bali as the only Hindu oasis in a sea of 17.000 Muslim islands in Indonesia is very serious about its ceremonies.

What’s the low-down?

Melasti is a purification ritual that takes place every year, usually in March or early April, precisely two or three days before the Bali-Hindu New Year day of Nyepi (the Day of silence).

Hindu Melasti Ceremony @ Petitengit Temple and Beach in Bali/Indonesia.The Melasti ritual is marked by a long procession from village to the beach and vice versa. In the past, people carried all of the religious paraphernalia while walking, but more recently wheeled-carts or even trucks are used to lighten the load. Thanks to technology and the smooth asphalt it has become less of a burden for the procession participants. Besides the beach, Melasti is also made lakeside or by a river, especially for those who live far from a beach. Water is the important element.

During the one day ritual, almost every beach in Bali fills with people in traditional attire, gamelan music, and colourful religious paraphernalia such as the umbrellas, statues, spears and other sacred objects that are usually stored in temples. While the day is usually hot and humid at Bali’s beaches, some people like to take a swim during Melasti, though it is still not a common activity.

Hindu Melasti Ceremony @ Petitengit Temple and Beach in Bali/Indonesia.While tourists are discouraged from coming to the beach to swim on Melasti Day, it is the best time to see one of Bali’s grand rituals. Melasti ritual is also held on other auspicious days in conjunction with important temples festivals over the island, or festivals for newly renovated temple.

Such festivals commence by bringing all the temples’ religious paraphernalia to the beach for purification. But this time, they carry them by car or truck. There is nothing like the annual Melasti Procession.

Some short video impressions:

Here are some videos from the Melasti Processions at Petitenget Temple and Beach a few days back :

Overwhelmed by spirits:

Another one at Petitenget Beach:

And the last one at Petitenget Temple:

As I will be on my Visa Run to Singapore from tomorrow onwards, I might not be able to update the blog so frequently for the next week or so. Yes, it’s been 6 months here already. Time really flies on the ‘Island of the Gods’!


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written by Chris

10 Responses to “Hindu ceremonies – a feast for the senses!”

  1. Beach BumNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Fantastic blog, I’ve just a little bit because its late here but I’ll add it to my links list at my blog.

  2. wayan suriNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Three days before Nyepi, Balinese new year is celebrated a melasti must be performed. Melasti, according to the ancient scripture of Sundari Gama and Swamandala is melasti ngarania ngiring prewatek dewata anganyutaken laraning jagat, papa klesa, letuhing bhuwana, amet sarining amertha ring telenging segara. In English this sentence means Melasti means to follow the deity in the purpose to drift away impurities, miseries and poor mundane elements and take tirtha amertha, or holy water of life in the sea. More at

  3. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    It seems like everyday is a holiday there in Bali :p

    I think I wouldn’t get bored staying in such lovely, fun-filled and high-spirited place…

    Good luck for your exit and see you around next time…

  4. ubertrampNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hi There,

    You’ve got a great site here –
    I’ve included you in the hit list this month – if you wish to have it removed then let me know

    Looking forward to more posts.


  5. PatyCNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Great post Nomad4ever! I can tell you really suffer way to much : )

  6. Fabiano BispoNo Gravatar BRAZIL Says:

    what a blog my friend!

    hugs from Brazil for u!

  7. JennDZNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Keep Living the Good Life!

  8. Alek KrylowNo Gravatar DENMARK Says:

    A few years ago I visited Bali and I saw a ceremony at Sayan west of Ubud..
    There was a procession with many men dressed in white jackets and yellow sarongs. In the middle of the procession were 4 men who were dressed differently. They seemed to be wearing “coats” made of straw. Around their necks they had wide collars studded with small mirrors.They held white Hoods over their heads and walked under canopies. Women, at the side of the road, fell to their knees as if in prayer, when they passed.
    Any idea what sort of ceremony I saw?
    I’m sending a couple of photos of what i saw.

    Hoping you can tell me what i saw

    Best regards
    Alek Krylow

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    […] is almost over and for the Hindus, the New Year is about to start. A whole week of processions, ceremonies, celebrations, fireworks and […]

  10. Living the Good Life in Bali - a Wrap up after 2 Years | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

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