SEVERAL villages in Bali have a unique Hindu culture-inspired tradition. On the one hand, it should be maintained sustainably as it can strengthen their belief. While on the other hand, this can become an attraction for other residents and tourists. One of them is the mesuryak tradition at Bongan Village, Tabanan.
This tradition is held every 6 months (210 days in the Balinese calendar), namely on Kuningan Day or 10 days after the Galungan Day.
What is Mesuryak?
The Mesuryak tradition is only performed by villagers of Bongan Gede, Tabanan. This has been carried out from generation to generation which has been passed down from their ancestors. Until now, it is still sustainable and developing.
Mesuryak itself is a Balinese language vocabulary which means ‘to cheer.’ This tradition is closely related to religious ceremonies in the series of Galungan and Kuningan celebrations, especially dedicated to respect for the ancestors. In other words, it is a farewell of family after having a 10-day reunion with the ancestors on earth.
If you happen to be traveling on Island Bali and would like to see this procession, please schedule a visit on Kuningan Day. Ask your driver to take you to Bongan Village, Tabanan.
The Mesuryak tradition at Bongan Tabanan Village aims to provide provisions and bring the spirits of the ancestors back to the realm of nirvana with joy.
According to Hindu belief, the ancestral spirits will come down to earth to visit their family or descendants on Galungan Day and return on Kuningan Day, ten days after Galungan, right before noon.
After offering prayers at family and village temples, Bongan villagers provide supplies such as rice and money symbolically and do this through the Mesuryak tradition.
The last prayer is performed in front of the entrance gate of the house compound and is led by a family temple priest or a appointed senior figure. Well, this procession then ends with the Mesuryak Tradition.
With great joy, each family members provides provisions in the form of coins or banknotes with denomination ranging from IDR 1,000 to IDR 100,000 as a substitute for perforated coins. The money is thrown into the air and grabbed by other residents. Men, women and children will happily scramble and push each other in order to get it.
By and large, this unique tradition takes place from around 9 in the morning to 12 noon. According to their belief, after that time the ancestors had returned to the heavenly realm.
It should be noted, this tradition is carried out in turns from house to house. Thus, all villagers can compete for the money fairly. For those who have more economic capacity will probably provide more supplies and all of this is done with sincerity.