Coinciding with Kuningan feast day on Saturday (Apr 6), the Bongan Puseh customary village, Bongan village, Tabanan, organized a mesuryak or cheering tradition. This ritual is spreading money as an escort for the ancestors returning to heaven. Unfortunately, though being vibrant, the tradition remained to draw minimal interests of tourists.
Of the 11 hamlets at Bongan village, the cheering tradition at Bongan Gede was the most festive. Such ritual tradition was commenced by saying prayers in family temple. Then, it was resumed with putting the offerings in front of the entrance gates of each house compound. Around 10:00 a.m., the ritual tradition commenced. After delivering the offerings, all the family members threw money up. Money in various denominations of rupiahs became the seizure of all residents. It began from denomination of IDR 1,000 to IDR100, 000. Once the money was thrown, local residents instantly scrambled to get it. Sometimes, people mutually pushed. The tradition of throwing money was made in turns. It was intended that residents could scramble to get money fairly.
Chief of Bongan Gede hamlet, Made Wardana, explained the mesuryak tradition posed the pinnacle of Galungan and Kuningan celebration at local village. The tradition was meant to deliver the ancestors after making a visit for 10 days during the celebration of Galungan. “We believe the ancestors are going back to their abode on Tumpek Kuningan. On that account, we escorted them while cheering and throwing money. This tradition is known as mesuryak,” he said. Wardana added the tradition was the only one in Bali.
The action of throwing money had the meaning of prosperity. Money symbolized the expression of gratitude to God. The amount of money spread depended on the ability of each family. Even, the-haves might spread as much as tens of millions of rupiahs. The tradition of escorting the ancestral souls was also known as ngulihang. “Obviously, our ancestors will be happy to see us cheering and having a lot of money,” he said. Wardana added that his party did not know exactly when such a tradition was commenced. (BTN/kmb)