Perang Pandan Festival 2018, Honoring the God of War

News and Event

Highlights

  • A Unique cultural event to be held in Bali on 8-30 june
  • Young men fight a battle to tribute the god of war
  • In the end, they smear natural medicines on wounds and eat together on banana leaves

The word Perang means war and pandan is dedicated to the pandanus leaves which they use as a weapon to fight. Perang festival is all about giving tribute to the god of war by enjoying the battle with each other. They even get wounds from fights but enjoy it fully. The Perang pandan is also known as the dance of war. The war is a symbol of power, dominance and strength over enemies.

Balinese are known for their cultures and thousands of old year rituals. Perang pandan is an age-old traditional festival which is dedicated to the Hindu of war and the sky, Indra. All male villagers about each other armed with a small shield and a tied packet of thorny pandan leaves in the other hand. The village is located in east Bali which comprises of two sub-villages, Daud Tukad and pegringsingan. The other village is known for its amazing heritage geringsing double ikat, cloth where females of village wear as part of family regalia during performing rituals. The festival is celebrated in the months of June and July. The special area is build up, villagers decorate their houses and girls drive large man powered wooden swings as part of rituals.

Tenganasese men dress traditional with bare chest and headband, use thorny pandanus as their weapon for the battle and a rattan woven for the protection. The ritual starts with gamelan music named selonding, musical instrument that is played. The pandan ceremony starts with praying at the temple and go on with circling around the village and having a traditional fermented drink called ‘tuak.

The motive of this ceremony is to give tribute to the gods of war by fighting a battle. Around this time, the main arena is packed with young boys and young men take turns in pairs to fight, inflicting their bodies with lashes from the leaves and sharp thorns. They get injured but not even a single contestant shows pain. Wounds are treated with natural medicines like herbs, turmeric and vinegar mix and which does magical to the wounds, dry up in minutes.

At the end of the battle, they smear the scratches and wound with turmeric and vinegar as part of a ritual. They all sit together to dine on banana leaves and laugh and giggle together at the end.

Image Source: Unknown.

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