In Bali, the last day their 210 day Saka calendar marks the Balinese feast of purification. This is the time of the year when the lord of hell cleans out his underworld lair, and all manner of demons and evil spirits are left to roam Bali free.
During this time….when evil is afoot……the natives go to elaborate lengths to purify both their individual homes as well as the island. No corner or stone is left untouched as rites of purification and spells for protection are recounted
On this Saka New Year’s Eve, it is all blaring noise and merriment. Every Balinese household starts the evening with blessings at the family temple and continues with a ritual called the pengrupukan where each member participates in ‘chasing away’ malevolent forces, known as bhuta kala, from their compounds – hitting pots and pans or any other loud instruments along with a fiery bamboo torch.
These ‘spirits’ are later manifested as the ogoh–ogoh to be paraded in the streets. As the street parades ensue, bamboo cannons and occasional firecrackers fill the air with flames and smoke. The Nyepi Eve parade usually starts at around 19:00 local time.
This date varies from year to year, in 2019, it falls on March 6. It is based on the Saka calendar of western Indian origin, one among the many calendars assimilated by Indonesia’s diverse cultures. The Saka is 78 years behind the Gregorian calendar, and follows a lunar sequence.
If you’d like to honor this tradition, here is a simple house cleansing ritual:
You will need a broom, some sea water, or rain water with some sea salt dissolved in it, and an Asperger (optional). Open all the windows and doors in your house and starting from the center sweep the whole house. Move Deosil (clockwise) as much as possible. As you go, visualize all negativity as a wispy grey cloud which you are driving out through the windows and doors.
Now take your salt water (and Asperger if you have one) and sprinkle the salt water around the boundaries of your whole home, making sure that you include the sills of all the doors and windows. Be very careful not to make everything too wet, or to sprinkle any electrical equipment, switches or sockets, etc.
As you do each door or window say: “I mark this boundary that no negativity be allowed to enter here. Blessed be.” and then close it.
If the weather is really inclement you may need to work room by room rather than doing the whole house in one go. In this case make sure you cover the boundaries between rooms and any passageways, stairs, etc. without windows.
Note: This house cleansing ritual can be used at any time.
Whenever you move into a new home it is as well to cleanse it to remove any residual negative energies which may have been left behind by the previous occupants. You may also like to do this after any period of upset in your home to thoroughly drive out the problem, or if you have been visited by someone who seems to have left some of their negativity behind them.
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