Balinese Blessing Ceremony

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Hindu religion in Bali is all about maintaining harmony between the physical, spiritual and unseen worlds. This particular philosophy involves offerings, mantras, prayers and ceremonies to balance these three realms. 
One significant ceremony performed regularly on the island is known as melaspas. It is an elaborate and often costly blessing ritual for a new home, building or temple where the structure is literally ‘brought to life’. 
The primary purpose of this ceremony is to cleanse the entire area from any negative energy that may have accumulated. The Balinese believe that ‘bad spirits’ can be contained as long as they are recognized and even respected. If these entities are appeased with the appropriate offerings, they will not cause unnecessary disturbance. 
A melaspas ceremony is not to banish these invisible spirits but merely to encourage them to remain inconspicuous. This ritual also involves some sort of blood sacrifice, typically from a chicken. Fresh blood spilt on the ground of a new structure will feed the appetite of any lurking spirits so that they will leave all human inhabitants well alone.