Information about Holiday or Ceremony
Where did this ceremony take place:
In the morning, students come to school to pray. Wearing Balinese traditional clothes, they pray to Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. At homes, family members collect their books and offer canang sari, cakes and fruits.
Rahina Saraswati mateges rahina tedunnyane widya utawi kaweruhan manut ring padrestan krama Hindu ring Bali. Rahina Saraswati nemonin rahina Saniscara Umanis Watugunung, rauh nyabran nem sasih. Lumrahnyane, krama Bali ngaturang nasi kuning, sekar, lan sanganan malakar aji tepung terigu sane kasengguh jaja saraswati. Jaja saraswati marupa bunter tur madaging wentuk makadi cecek putih alit. Manut ring drestan anak Bali, cecek sane ngawinang manusane eling tur makaitan sareng ida betara. Yening ceceke masuara wusan anake ngraos, nika cihna raosipun patut.
Ngedas lemah, sisya-sisyane ngranjing ka sekolah mawastra adat Bali, kalanturang antuk ngaturang sembah bhakti, ngastawa Dewi Saraswati, dewaning kaweruhan. Ring jero soang-soang, angga kulawarga mulpulang sakancan sastra tur kaaturang canang sari, sanganan miwah woh-wohan.
Pagi hari, siswa datang ke sekolah dengan berpakaian adat, lalu bersembahyang bersama-sama, memuja Dewi Saraswati, dewi ilmu pengetahuan. Di rumah, anggota keluarga mengumpulkan buku-buku mereka dan menghormatinya dengan mempersembahkan canang sari, jajan dan buah-buahan.
Sacha Savinov in cooperation with BasaBali.org
In fact Saraswati is also venerated in various ‘Northern’ or Mahayana Buddhist traditions, including Tibet (Yang Chen-mo), China (Tapien-ts’ai t’iennu), Mongolia (Keleyin ukin Tegri), and Japan (Benten). Here in Bali the tradition has evolved into integrating the day to make prayers to the goddess into the pawukon calendar which cycles every 6 ‘months’, in fact 6 months of 35 days. So Saraswati day, like so many other Balinese ceremonial days, comes around every 210 days. Today, in fact.
The Balinese follow the “Hindu” tradition in considering Saraswati to be the sakti or consort of the god Brahma. In essence, here Saraswati is worshipped as the Goddess of Learning. On this day holy books and lontar (palm leaf texts) are venerated with special offerings; school children gather outside their classes in the morning and pray to her.
Saraswati is considered not only the goddess of learning, but also a source of spiritual inspiration and motivation, as well as creativity in the arts. On the night of Saraswati the tradition is to stay up and read the sacred lontars. Then the following morning at dawn, the day of “Banyu Pinaruh” one goes to a sacred bathing spot or to the sea and performs ritual ablutions of purification.
Again, the depictions of Saraswati here follow the Indian traditions. She has one face and four arms. She is seated on a white swan, which in Indian traditions is considered special as swans are said to have the ability to separate milk from water when they are mixed; in other words to separate what is pure from the impure.
In her top right hand she carries a veena, an Indian musical drone instrument that represents the arts and the sacred sound AUM. In the other right hand she carries a ganatri rosary symbolizing spiritual wisdom. One of her left hands is also playing the veena, while the other holds a sacred text symbol of learning.Saraswati day: a day to remember the importance of learning, a day for spiritual motivation, a day for creative inspiration. Have a great day."
Rio Helmi (photo and text)
Ketut Yuliarsa (posted on Facebook on Oct 2022)
On the day of "saniscara umanis watugunung" in the Balinese calendar, the Balinese Hindus celebrate Saraswati day. The day of knowledge and enlightenment. Enlightenment has not yet been achieved, but Saraswati the Goddess, consort of the God Brahma, the Creator, has been around forever, for she is also manifested in India as a river: the Saraswati river. There isn't any particular temple built to worship Goddess Saraswati, as a statement that knowledge doesn't just belong to a particular religion, people or race, but instead is available to all who seek it and received by all who strive for it. But in order to get to knowledge, there is no free ride on her mystical swan's back. No quick fix for the pain and suffering caused by our past misdeeds and ignorance. For our dispositions are so varied. We have been there and done that, things both good and bad, which are now tied up in our law of karma, known also as the law of cause and effect. They follow us as "the wheel follows the cart". Therefore, the Goddess Saraswati carries with her not just the holy book of Veda for the Hindus, but in her many arms of compassion also offers science and philosophy for the inquisitive minds, poetry and music for the passionate and the dispassionate ones, art and beauty to soothe the senses. She represents the academic and artistic endeavours of the human race, in the written, the spoken, and even in the whispered words. On Saraswati day, Balinese people pay homage to the bearer of knowledge and wisdom. They clean their slates, tidy up their books, decorate their studies, sharpen their pencils, pens and minds as well. For whatever is owned was given, whatever is known was taught. They are grateful because at least once every 210 days, they are reminded that our entire civilisation is built upon the wisdom of the Goddess Saraswati. The very wisdom that ascends into our thoughts to become us.Just like the Saraswati river in India, this river of knowledge and wisdom flows in the blood of the Hindus and of all people, though she cannot be seen.