01 January 2019

Balinese Hindus have just celebrated Galungan on December 26th and the 10 days celebration will be ended by Kuningan day on January 5th 2019.

Resident of Bali must be familiar with “Ngelawang” tradition. Ngelawang can be done from morning, afternoon, even at night during the celebration of Galungan and Kuningan. Ngelawang is  an art performed in a “Barong Bangkung” costume, where the Barong is paraded around the village accompanied by gamelan. This performance are usually carried out by children in villages and they will do the performance from door to door  and in return audience or the house owners will donate some money

Ngelawang is done to celebrate the Dharma ( good ) victory over Adharma ( evil ). It is said that the performance of ngelawang is believed to bring blessings, salvation, inner peace and peace to Hindus.

Barong used in this performance is Barong Ket, which is usually performed at temples and holy places in Bali. Barong Ket is widely known as it is used for entertainment purposes. The word “bangkung” in Barong Bangkung means gilt  because the barong is shaped like a pig's body with black skin.

Ngelawang will usually involve a group of people, especially children to adults, consisting of 8 to 15 people. Of them there will be two people who dance while wearing a set of barong clothes.

Origins of the Ngelawang Tradition Bali

According to Hindu beliefs, Barong is a symbol of the embodiment of the Banas Pati Raja which can protect humans from danger and disease outbreaks. Not all places or villages have the tradition of Ngelawang and performing Barong Bangkung, only in some places that have the ancestral cultural heritage, so also the procedures for its implementation are sometimes also different but in essence have the same purpose.

In the past, this ritual was very sacred so that when the barong bulu fell down, the people would pick it up and make it a lucky thing. Nowadays, Ngelawang tradition is just an art show performed by children.

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