A collection of short stories, essays, blog-posts and photographs from Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud High « Melasti on Bali ~ Balinese-Hindu Purification Ceremony before Nyepi, the Day of Silence

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The Balinese-Hindu beach ceremony of Melasti – celebrated in the days leading up to Nyepi, Bali's Hindu New Year and Day of Silence.


Balinese-Hindu worshipers pray with temple effigies during a Melasti ceremony on Purnama Beach in Bali, Indonesia

Balinese-Hindu worshipers pray with temple effigies during a Melasti ceremony on Purnama ("Full Moon") Beach in Bali, Indonesia.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Balinese Hindus carry temple effigies back to their village during a Melasti procession on Purnama Beach in Bali, Indonesia

Balinese Hindus carry temple effigies back to their village during a Melasti procession on Purnama Beach in Bali, Indonesia.

© 2020 Ubud High.

A sacred barong is carried by Balinese-Hindu devotees after a Melasti ceremony on Purnama Beach, Bali

A sacred barong is carried by Balinese-Hindu devotees after a Melasti ceremony on Purnama Beach in Bali, Indonesia.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Balinese-Hindu devotees prepare to carry sacred temple effigies and offerings to the beach at Pantai Masceti in Gianyar, Bali

Balinese-Hindu devotees prepare to carry sacred temple effigies to the beach at Pantai Masceti in Gianyar, Bali.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Balinese-Hindu women carry offerings to the beach during a Melasti ceremony at Pantai Masceti in Gianyar, Bali

Balinese-Hindu women carry offerings to the beach during a Melasti ceremony at Pantai Masceti in Gianyar, Bali.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Hindu devotees carry offerings during a Melasti ceremony on Purnama Beach, Bali

Hindu devotees carry sacred temple effigies and offerings during a Melasti ceremony on Purnama Beach, Gianyar, Bali.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Balinese-Hindu faithful de-camp from trucks at Masceti Beach for the annual Melasti ceremony, Bali, Indonesia

Balinese-Hindu faithful de-camp from trucks at Masceti Beach for the annual Melasti ceremony in Bali, Indonesia.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Balinese women and young girls carry Hindu offerings to Pantai Masceti in Gianyar, Bali during a Melasti festival

Balinese women and young girls carry Hindu offerings to Pantai Masceti in Gianyar, Bali, during a Melasti festival.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Sacred temple effigies accompanied by Balinese Hindus prepare to leave Masceti Beach after a Melasti ceremony in Gianyar, Bali

Balinese-Hindu men and women accompany sacred temple effigies on their way back home from Masceti Beach after a Melasti ceremony in Gianyar, Bali.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Balinese-Hindu men mount trucks to return to their villages after an annual Melasti ceremony at Masceti Beach in Gianyar, Bali

Balinese-Hindu men mount trucks to return to their villages after an annual Melasti ceremony at Masceti Beach in Gianyar, Bali.

© 2020 Ubud High.

A village gamelan orchestra waits to return home after a Hindu Melasti ceremony at Masceti Beach in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

A village gamelan orchestra waits to return home after a Hindu Melasti ceremony at Masceti Beach in Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.

© 2020 Ubud High.

Muslim vendors wait for customers at their ice-cream and grilled sausage stall at Pantai Masceti during a Melasti beach ceremony, Bali

Muslim vendors wait for customers at their ice-cream and grilled sausage stall at Pantai Masceti during a Melasti beach ceremony, Bali.

© 2020 Ubud High.

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Related Content: Hindu Ceremonies and Traditions in Bali

» Ogoh-Ogoh Festival before Nyepi in Bali »

» Trance, Dance and Mass Possession at a Village Temple Ceremony in Bali, Indonesia »

» The American Mask: 'Calonarang' – or Balinese Masked Trance Ceremony – in Ubud »


More from The Big Picture at Ubud High

» Yoga, Dance, Music and Therapy at the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud »


© 2021 John Storey. ↺

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The Last Pic

Portrait of the Day

Portraits from Bali by Ubud High

© 2021 Ubud High.


The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

© 2021 John Storey. All rights reserved.


The Ubud Handbook

There is no book. There is no e-book. Just what you see here. It's all imaginary. Enjoy.

The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your free guide to living in Ubud and Bali in an online nutshell.

Food Talk

Durian ~ The King of Stink

"On the third bite," says one hater, "it was as though I'd just eaten a diseased, parasite-infested animal with a bad case of rabies. I prayed I wouldn't be sick because I really didn't want to taste it again on the way up..."


Personal Stories

Photo-realistic urban art by an anonymous street artist of a 1930s market scene in Bali, Indonesia

Diary of a Market Girl

"When I had my sixth and seventh babies at the hospital – my twin girls – the doctor ordered me to have a Caesarian. And without asking me, he tied my tubes off as well. I think he thought I'd had enough babies..."


Religion Matters

Balinese-Hindu offerings of rice, money, sweets, holy water and flower petals at Sebatu Springs, Bali, Indonesia

An American Calonarang

'To cut an all-night story short, the mask was donned by a dancer who fell into a deep trance. But instead of staying in the temple, he began to run. And run. He became violent and uncontrollable. He ran for four kilometers down the road – the crowd scrambled after him. He ended up in a cemetery just past my house, and in the dead of night began to do frenzied battle with unseen foes...'


Culture Bites

Cinema Paradiso

'Boobs and political censorship have never been far from the Silver Screen – in Indonesia, they're its bedrock. The silent flicks of Thirties' Bali sucked hungrily on the island's bare-breasted cabinet-postcard image that encouraged so many gilded tourists – and dodgy film-stars like Charlie Chaplin – to visit its sultry, forbidden shores...'

1932 Virgins of Bali Thirties' nudie-cutie bare-native film poster 1930s Bali, Indonesia.

Getting Around ~ Bali 'Biking

Motorbike accident victim being treated for a leg-injury in an Ubud clinic in Bali, Indonesia

Surviving Bali on a 'Bike

"For me, some of the most dangerous people on the road are white people. I avoid them like the plague. You can tell the ones who are going to hurt others – the fixed grins, the hunched over the handle-bars, the wobbling around corners and shouts of indignation when they finally hit someone – because they have absolutely no idea how life and the road works around here..."

The Other Side of the Coin

'She starts sweeping and I notice she's limping. There's a spreading bruise and an angry graze running past her knee and down her calf. She wants to carry on cleaning – I sit her down and ask her what happened. She's shy; I press...'

It's Silly Season Again

'She tears into the traffic. She can't stop. She narrowly misses hitting a car head-on, swerves past a mum on a 'bike and slaloms across the road. Before she hits anyone – it's a miracle she doesn't – she falls in a bad-sounding heap of bent metal and smashing plastic. A group of Balinese rush to pick her up before the cops see her...'


Tourism & Self-Enrichment

Yoginis bliss out during an outdoor HoopYogini hula-hoop yoga class at the annual Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali Indonesia

Eat, Pray, Self-Love

'My concentration's shot to pieces. The spaghetti keeps falling off my fork. She's on her third large beer now. She starts to say 'facking' even more, and is speaking so loudly that people passing on the street have begun to look her way, and she's spitting bits of ciabatta bread and tomato and fish into her friend's dinner...'

The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

'Shake out those Kundalini Awakenings with some HoopYogini™ and Bhakti Boogie® at the Yoga Barn. Celebrate The Divine Feminine with a splash of Shakti Dance. Puff up your lungs in a Sacred Breathwork Immersion Workshop®, insert a Jade Egg for luck at The Womb Temple™ and polish it off with some tantalising Manifesting And Abundance.

You know you're worth it...'

From Ubud With Love

I'm staying at a cute, family-run bed-and-breakfast – a homestay – on Ubud's trendy Jalan Goutama. A young member of the homestay's family tours her compound, blessing it with incense and rice and flower-petal offerings in little hand-made palm-leaf boxes.

All is well in Bali's cultural capital...'

A Dutchman Goes to a Gypsy Fortune-Teller

'A Dutch boy in Holland goes to a gypsy fortune-teller who tells him that he is, in fact, Balinese. His uncle then visits the Island of the Gods and brings him back a wooden carving of a bare-breasted lady.

Lucky for him it wasn't one of those funny-shaped wooden bottle-openers that looks like a cock...'


Holidays from the Jungle

The Heads of Trunyan

'Agricultural, and unpractised in the dark art of handling international tourists, the aristocratic farmer-people of Trunyan have acquired a damaging reputation for aggression. Their unique tourist draw – a jungle-cemetery where bodies are left in the open to disintegrate underneath a magical banyan tree – is regularly shunned by travellers on the time-sensitive tourist circuit...'

A Line in the Sand

'Ten meters away and the young man finally looks up – an inane, animal-like grin taped across his face as his girlfriend grips his porcelain butt and grimaces towards the empty blue sky. They disengage like street dogs, utter an invective in Russian, and stare...'


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If you've found any of this content useful – or if you like my writing and pics at Ubud High – then tips are always very welcome.


Contact

Times are hard for families kept apart by pandemic restrictions - stay in touch with the ones you love

And finally, the weather

Fake styrofoam clouds over the main 'Cloud' stage at the 'Plastic-Free Gili Air Music Festival' near Lombok, Indonesia

Today's weather forecast for Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Check here for your 7-day weather forecast for Ubud and Bali.


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