FOUR days before Nyepi of the Caka Year 1935, the Tanah Lot tourist attraction is full of cultural attractions. Hindu communities from different areas, especially in Tabanan, performed Melasti procession on the beach. Melasti is the purification ritual of macrocosm and microcosm before the Caka New Year feast day.
Like a traditional fashion show, the melasti procession has been taking place on March 7 to March 10. This ritual is usually done early in the morning around 06:00 a.m. Unlike the villagers of Beraban customary village, they performed it in the afternoon at 3:00 p.m. “During that time, Tanah Lot became the center of cultural procession naturally. Travelers were very proud to see it,” said the Operations Manager of Tanah Lot Management, I Ketut Toya Adnyana.
At that time, all the pilgrims were wearing Balinese traditional white attires symbolizing purity. Men were wearing headband, fabric and yellow saput, while women were wearing fabrics and scarves. By wearing fresh floral combined with imitation flower accessories on head, those women looked gorgeous. Their steps were light as their sincerity to do devotional works or ngayah.
Pemelastian held by Beraban customary hamlet got special attention from domestic and foreign tourists. It was not only attended by the pilgrims from 44 temples existing in the area, but also included five barong effigies (Jero Gede). The procession was very beautiful when heading for Segara Kidul of Tanah Lot becoming the main destination of such ritual.
At that time, the road section leading to Tanah Lot was closed, so that visitors who happened to be at the location could not leave the object. It made them happy because they could see the attraction. Foreign and domestic tourists seemed enthusiastic about watching the procession. “We are very fortunate to witness this ritual activity,” said Herry, a domestic tourist trapped in the temporary road closure.
High spirit of doing devotional works among the Hindu society, various types of ritual paraphernalia, and the crowds of pilgrims paying homage at Tanah Lot Temple became a very beautiful moment. “I have witnessed the ritual procession here for several times, but this time is very much. To be honest, we are very lucky,” said a foreign tourist named Nicolas. (BTN/015)