Kajeng Kliwon Ceremony & The Balinese Calendar

Today is Kajeng Kliwon, a Hindu sacred day which is officiated every 15 days in and around the family temple and home. The dates for kajeng kliwon are set out in the Balinese Calendar which hangs in every house in Bali and can also be found in the homes of Balinese people where ever they are in the world.

20130720-112814.jpgHere is the July page from the current calendar. It is a fantastic calendar with an incredible amount of detail. It includes information about national public holidays which are printed red and thus public holidays here are called ‘red dates’ (tanggal merah). The red dates you can see here are all Sundays which are also printed in red.
Can you see the red and the black dots? The red one shows that the full moon will be on the 22nd July whereas the black one shows that on the 7th July there was a new moon.
Today’s date on the calendar looks like this:

Kajeng Kliwon is one of the many ceremonies that are completed by Balinese families. Because the ceremony is written on the square for the 20th, this tells us that all Balinese families will prepare and distribute the required offerings today. Also down the bottom of the calendar is a list of the sacred days this month:

However, sometimes also, particular ceremonies are only done in certain village temples. That information is also clarified at the bottom of the calendar under the list of sacred days for July:

20130720-120259.jpgYou can see that for today, there will be several temples also holding special ceremonies which means that the families who attend those temples will be extremely busy organising offerings not only for Kajeng Kliwon at home but also for Hari Tumpek Wayang which will be held at their village temple (pura). To explain a little about how to decipher the calendar, look at the list of temples celebrating Hari Tumpek Wayang today. The first phrase is this; “Pr. Majapahit di Jembrana” and translated it simply means the Majapahit Temple in the Negara district. ‘Jembrana’ is Balinese for Negara and ‘Pr.’ is the abbreviation for ‘pura’ (temple). So at the Majapahiat Temple in Negara, the local villagers will be doubly busy today!
Another section on the calendar

20130720-123138.jpglists dates that are set for certain events. The first paragraph of dates is for farms and gardens, the second is for animal husbandry including fisheries and the last is for tools and weapons. Looking at the middle section about animals, the first entry says that the best dates for either training a calf or cow or ploughing fields with a buffalo are July 15 & 21 July. Other sections not photographed include the dates best for building, business, and ceremonies.
The final interesting thing about the calendar is that on every page is a photo of Bambang Gede Rawit, the person credited with creating the first ever Balinese Calendar.

20130720-125314.jpgAbove his photo are the dates for the star sign cancer and below his photo is a list of dates to remember this month including July 1st which is the national day for Indonesian children!

For Kajeng Kliwon this morning, the daughter in law who is married to the oldest grandson, distributed the many offerings and thankfully didn’t mind that I followed her around like a puppy with my camera. Most of the offerings were made by my parents (now known as kumpi meaning great grandparents) and I have watched them over the past few days, even helping where I can, making the huge variety of offerings that are required for Kajeng Kliwon. My expertise though is limited to placing flowers and even then I don’t know if anyone could call it expertise!! The flowers were bought at the market because so many were needed and there just isn’t enough in the garden here.

20130720-135347.jpgHere are a series of photos showing my Mum putting one of the many offerings together for today:






Once all the offerings were finished they were stored in a room which is now known as the ‘kamar suci’ which roughly translates as the ‘holy room’.

This morning, I Luh, dressed in traditional clothing, was given the responsibility of distributing the offerings with the relevant prayers. She began by visiting all the important places in the family compound and leaving offerings & prayers:

20130720-141246.jpgThis is one of the motor bikes receiving a blessing so that it remains safe (selamat)! She also put offerings in the kitchen. The rice cooker, the stove and the water container all received an offering. An offering was also put on the roof of the kitchen. Offerings were also put down in front of the main buildings, the path ways and the main entrance to the compound.

20130720-141857.jpg and then the family temples all were given offerings.

20130720-142028.jpgI hadn’t realised just how many temples there were here until I followed I Luh around this morning! That could be for another blog!!
She then took all the remaining offerings to a bigger temple nearby around which all the families in this compound have built their homes. In that temple were many shrines all representing the many ancestors this family share.

20130720-142415.jpgThe entire time that I Luh placed the offerings, it drizzled lightly but once we reached the larger temple, the drizzle became light rain and I sheltered under the eaves of this structure in the middle.

20130720-142705.jpgI Luh continued placing the offerings and saying the prayers disregarding the rain totally. By the time all the offerings were finished she was quite wet but luckily I was only a little damp!

20130720-143126.jpgOnce I Luh had finished here, she then had to head out straight away for her parents village which is one of the ones listed in the Bali Calendar that is celebrating Hari Tumpek Wayang today. What a day for her!


3 thoughts on “Kajeng Kliwon Ceremony & The Balinese Calendar

  1. Wow… Now the calander at Dad’s makes sense… kinda. How to the organizers of the calander ensure all the villages are mentioned? Has Bali been ‘zoned’??

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