IMPORTANT BALINESE RITUALS BEFORE AND AFTER NYEPI…
Balinese rituals before and after Nyepi
As the last fortress of Hinduism in Indonesia, the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population, the Balinese on the Island of the Gods are known for their dedication to their rituals, one
of them being the annual celebration of the Saka New Year, known as the Day of Silence or Nyepi.
Decades ago, American anthropologist Clifford James Geertz in his book entitled “Negara: The Theatre State in Nineteenth-Century Bali”, introduced the term “theater of state” to describe the power of Bali Island and defined its existence and objectives through drama and religious rituals. Geertz combined ethnographic understanding which is focused on the role of rituals as a part of political power among the island’s elites. He also revealed the powerful position of the ritual and, most importantly, the necessity of theatrical quality in the Balinese ceremonies.
Nyepi is not only a ritual but also a well-staged theatrical piece that is designed to make spectators realize one important value; that