Otonan Bali, a Birth Ceremony

Bali always can catch people’s eye, not only for people in Indonesia, but also for many people from another country. Besides the Melasti ceremony and Nyepi day, one of the most popular and unique traditional ceremonies in Bali is Otonan tradition. The Otonan Bali is also called Ngotonin, it is a ceremony to celebrate the birth of the new baby born in a family. The celebration will be held in one year Wuku (it is 6 months times 35 days = 210 days). The Otonan celebration is held in the same time of Sapta Wara, Panca Wara, and Wuku calendar. The ceremony will be held to make up for any mistakes and the evils of the former, so the life will reach the better from before.

This celebration is different with other anniversary celebration which is only held based on the date and the month. The Otonan will not ignore the Wuku time and instead use it as one of the considerations. Otonan Bali is known as a birthday ceremony which holds the Yadnya ceremony. If the Yadnya ceremony is in small area, it will be led by the eldest people in the society, and if it is in a large area, it will be led by Pinandita. The main media in this ceremony consist of Biyukawonan, Tumpeng Lima, Tebasan Lima, Sesayut, and Gebogan.

According to the Hindu people in Bali tradition, people usually using the pray in a voice, these prays are called Sehe. The prays are prayed by the leader of the ceremony who has the psychologist influenced with the family who hold the Otonan Bali because while the leader is praying, it is also done the symbols which means the baby is gotten the godsend from the power of the prays. The first pray is done by wearing the thread bracelet in the baby’s hand and talk “Ne cening magelang benang, apang ma uwat kawat ma balung besi” (you wear the thread bracelet, to make you have the ‘wire muscle’ and the ‘iron bones’).

In the next step of Otonan Bali before Natab, the ceremony begins with holding the sesayut place and revs it in three times with the same direction as the hand of clock. Do it and say the pray in Bali language “Ne cening ngilehang sampan, ngilehang perahu, batu makocok, tungked bungbungan, teked dipasisi napetang perahu bencah” (means: you rev the dugout, rev the boat, makocok stone, bungbung stick, arrive in the beach and meet the drifted ashore boat.


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