Knowledge is very important for Balinese. Every Saniscara,
Umanis, Wuku Watugunung, they celebrate Saraswati Day, the
knowledge day. It is based on the Pawukon (Balinese calendar)
system and the Saniscara (seven day cycle).
The name Saraswati came from "Saras" meaning
flow and "wati" meaning a women. So, Saraswati
is symbol of knowledge, its flow (or growth) is like a river
and knowledge is very interesting, like a beautiful women.
Saraswati is the Goddess of Knowledge, symbolized by a
beautiful woman with four hands, riding on a white swan
among water lilies to tell humanity that science is like
a beautiful woman. Her hands hold a palm leaf; a lontar,
(a Balinese traditional book which is the source of science
or knowledge); a chain (genitri with 108 pieces) symbolising
that knowledge is never ending and has an everlasting life
cycle; and a musical instrument (guitar or wina) symbolising
that science develops through the growth of culture. The
swans symbolise prudence, so that one's knowledge may distinguish
between good and evil and the water lilies (Lotus) are symbols
of holiness. The Lotus flower is the holiest for Balinese.
In the afternoon of Saraswati day we are not permitted
to read or write the book because all the books are offered.
In the evening, called Malam Sastra, people read books (especially
religious books) in their houses or in the temple.
- Pangredanan (the day before Saraswati)
This is the day of preparation. All the books and lontar
are collected together, cleaned and dusted.
- Saraswati Day
Saraswati day itself is celebrated by the Balinese people
bringing offerings to their holy books and scrolls in
their houses, while students celebrate it at school, usually
in the morning, and the office-workers in their office.
The philosophy of Saraswati day is that the most important
thing for human life is knowledge.
- Banyu Pinaruh
The day after Saraswati Day is Banyu Pinaruh day. "Banyu"
means water and "Pinaruh" mean wisdom. In other
words, we must have wisdom which always flows like water
and which is useful for human kind. We pray for Dewi Saraswati
(manifestation of God) to give us cleverness and wisdom.
The people usually take a bath in the sea or a lake or
river and drink traditional medicine which is made from
many various leaves which is very good for our health.
The philosophy of Banyu Pinaruh day is the second most
important thing for human life is good health.
- Soma Ribek
Two days after Saraswati Day, on Soma (or Monday), Pon,
Wuku Sinta, is Soma Ribek day. "Soma" meaning
Monday, and "Ribek" meaning full. On this day,
Balinese bring offerings to the rice box. They thank God
for food and beverage in their lives and pray to Dewi
Sri (Goddess of prosperity, manifestation of God) to give
prosperity. This celebration remind them to be selective
when choosing food and not to over eat to improve their
health. The philosophy of Soma Ribek day is the third
most important thing for human life is food and drink.
- Sabuh Mas
Three days after Saraswati Day, on Anggara (or Tuesday),
Wage, Wuku Sinta, is Sabuh Mas day. "Sabuh"
means belt, and "Mas" mean gold. On this day,
Balinese bring offerings to the deposit box or the place
where they keep their jewelry. They thank Mahadewa (manifestation
of God) for cloth, money, gold, etc in our lives. This
celebration remind them to be selective when spending
money. The philosophy of Sabuh Mas day is the fourth most
important thing for human life is cloth and gold, etc.
Four days after Saraswati Day, on Buda (or Wednesday),
Kliwon, Wuku Sinta, is Pagerwesi day. "Pager"
meaning fence and "Wesi" meaning iron. On this
day, Balinese pray to Sang Hyang Pramesti Guru (manifestation
of God). All Balinese have offerings to their Sanggah
(temple in their home) and at all of their temples. This
is the second biggest holiday after Galungan day for the
Balinese. The philosophy of this celebration is that they
must keep knowledge, health, food, cloth and gold high
in their lives to keep the universe in balance.