Tumpek Kandang: Bali Blesses Its Animals

November 24, 2016 Life on the Island

On the coming November 26, the Balinese will celebrate “Tumpek Kandang”, a day dedicated to Sang Hyang Rare Angon, the god of all cattle and livestock. On this day, domesticated animals on the island will receive great attention; the cows are washed in the river and dressed-up like human beings, with special cone-shaped spirals made of coconut leaf placed on their horns. The pigs are decorated, with their bellies wrapped with a white or yellow cloth. Prayer is, of course, offered to the gods for the welfare of these animals. Holy water and rice are sprinkled to the head of these animals at the end of the ceremony.

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The Balinese consider these animals as a friend of life and fellow brother created by God as a living creature. Human life is much assisted by animals, especially in satisfying the needs of food, the labor force, religious ceremony and economy. For the sake of preservation and prosperity of such animals, the Balinese plead to God as the Greatest Source. This means, there is an awareness of owing ‘merits’ to the animals, since such creatures are the preservers of the equilibrium in the ecosystem. Without animals on earth, the life cycle does not work, and even interrupts.

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