Baby, Welcome to the World !!

When a baby finally enters the world, it is a couse for celebration for all family members involved. Here in Bali, there are number of ceremonies that must be held. These ceremonies are part of Manusa Yadnya, held not only when a baby is born but also before and after the arrival. The idea of Manusa Yadnya is to show gratitude towards life and the presence of the other human beings in this world. Hosting a feast is part of the Manusa Yadnya ceremony, which is why preparation of lots of food and beverage is imperative. The following are parts of the Manusa Yadnya ceremony:
The word “Gedong” means womb. Magedong-gedongan is perfomed to purify a baby who is still in the mother’s womb. This ceremony is a tradition carried from generation to generation by the Hindus in Bali. The Balinese believe that by performing this ceremony they will obtain a blessing from God, which will:
  • Strengthen the position of the baby in the womb
  • Give power to the baby during the birthing process a head
  • Prepare the mother mentally and physically for the delivery process 
  • Grant the parent’s wishes for the baby (for example, the hope that one day the baby will become a virtuous and generous person)
Nyambutin comes from the word sambut, which means, “to welcome”. This ceremony is held to ask for permission and for blessings from the land, in order for the baby to be allowed to set foot on the earth.
Most babies start crawling on the ground (earth) once they are around three monts old, so Nyambutin is performed when a baby reaches 105 days. For this reasons some Balinese also refer to Nyambutin as Nelubulanin, meaning “third month celebration”. This ceremony is a form of worship presented to God in hopes that the baby’s soul will be blessed.

Otonan is the Balinese version of a birthday. The difference between Otonan and a regular birthday is that a person’s actual birthday happens only once a year, while Otonan happens twice a year.  Otonan requires special calculation provided by a Balinese priest or a Balinese who understands Balinese astrology. The main purpose of otonan is to ask forgiveness to God for all the mistakes made, in hopes of becoming a better person in the future. The ceremony can be led by a priest or an elderly member of the family.