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Trance at Temple Festival in Bali

Trance is very common in every temple ceremony in Bali.

In Bali, trance serves as medium to satisfy the supernatural world. It is often used in every cultural religious Balinese community.

Visitors to Bali will have a special treat when scores of Balinese are in a state of trance during sacred ritual at Petilan Pengerebomgan Temple, Kesiman Village, East of Denpasar. The sacred ritual will be held to coincide with Temple Festival on August 29, 2004.

The ritual begins in the afternoon and is called 'ngerebong'. During the ritual, a group of temple adherents who are in a state of trance stab themselves with 'kris', a short dagger, to show that the ritual proceeds accordingly. A cock fighting is also held in the morning as part of the ritual.

Balinese believe that trance is a way of god (Bhatara) and his followers or the guardians (Ancangan) to show their presence in the ceremony. Trance as a ceremonial medium is believed to be the manifestation of a God who has agreed to come to the ceremony. A trance is inseparable from a ceremony because it adds to the humility and subservience of a ceremony.

When a group of people gets into trance, they will scream and stab themselves with a kris but there is no bleeding from their body. Other hold fire until it dies down but there's no pain on their hands and bodies.


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