Saraswati day & Pagerwesi

Spiritual days and ceremonies in January

Saraswati day is a traditional Balinese holiday to celebrate the day when knowledge was given by God through
the beautiful goddess Saraswati.

Like many Balinese holidays, Saraswati day is held every six months or 210 days, on Saturday of Watu gunung (the last week in the Balinese calendar system) and is celebrated all over Bali. The day is celebrated by making offerings and praying at home, in temples, schools and offices. The Balinese also put offerings on their books and scriptures due to books and scriptures being classic sources of knowledge. Some people celebrate it by praying and singing holy songs and spells from Hindus Scriptures all night in the temple or in their house. In many Bali schools, students practice offering rituals, like singing holy songs, dancing traditional dance, decorating their school temple and other religious activities a day before Saraswati day, as preparation for Saraswati day. This year it is on January 21st.

Four days later, on January 25th there is an- other spiritual festival – Pagerwesi. It is dedicated to the spiritual strengthening and development of individuals’ forces against evil. On this occasion, the prayers and offerings aim at saving humanity, keeping evil away from men and ancestors.

Pagerwesi is also called “rerainan gumi” by the Balinese and means the holiday for everyone from every background (read: caste) from the families of priests to the common families. Pagerwesi is also celebrated every 210 days on Wednesday of Shinta (the first week in the Balinese Pawukon calendar system).■

Bali Pocket Magazine