Ngelawang Ceremony in Tanah Lot PDF Print E-mail

barong-new-2During the Pemacekan Agung day the Hindu people in Tanah Lot usually perform a ceremony called Ngelawang which involves travelling around the village in the costume of Barong Rangda and Barong Gede. The Ngelawang ceremony is full of performances that convey holy values and is meant to create prosperity and health.  A series of dances are performed, such as the Janger, the Joged, and the Arja. After the performance people make a canang sari offering which contains some money (sesari, canang beras jinah). Lontar Barong Swari describes how the goddess Uma was cursed by Bhatara Guru and sent down into the world as the goddess Durga to disturb the affairs of mankind by creating disaster and plagues.

When Durga practised Yoga facing the north, she caused gering lumintu; facing the west she caused gering hamancuh; facing the south she caused gering rug bhuana; and facing the east she caused gering ngutah bayar.

The unstable situation that Durga created in the world made the gods worried and anxious. They were afraid that heaven would also eventually be disturbed, so Sang Hyang Tri Murti (the Balinese Hindu trinity) descended to the earth to help mankind. Brahma manifested himself as Topeng Bang, Wisnu as Telek, and Siwa as Barong. These three gods eradicated the plagues by dancing from door to door. Any Hindu who desires protection from these three gods should conduct the Ngelawang ceremony and make an canang sari offering that contains money (canang beras jinah) in order to receive their blessing. Ngelawang therefore is not just entertainment for the Balinese Hindu in Tanah Lot, but above all a spiritual performance to obtain protection, prosperity and health.