Ngedeblag is a sacred tradition in Kemenuh village in Gianyar, Bali, that has been carried on for centuries. Villagers perform the ritual at the beginning of the fifth month of the Balinese calendar.
Ngedeblag was initially performed by villagers to pray for their safety from the Bhwana Agung Lan Buana Alit [nature and everything in it]. It is believed that during the fifth month of the Balinese calendar, diseases from unknown origins can easily spread, along with the occurrence of bad weather, including storms and scorching heat.
The villagers believe that by performing the ritual, Ida Hyang Widhi Wasa [the one and almighty God] will bless them with safety.
The name of Ngedeblag comes from word ‘deblag’, which means ‘for a new life’. As part of the rituals, the residents walk around the village to neutralize the power of butha kala [evil].
The ritual procession begins at noon. The participants, whose faces and bodies are painted in various colors, start the ritual by praying together. Each of them will later receive a sprinkle of holy water. Traditional musical instruments like gongs and kul kul [drums made from bamboo or wood] are also played loudly as they march around the village. [hwa]