Ngelawang, a Special Tradition to Celebrate Galungan and Kuningan Holy Day


Galungan and Kuningan holy day have always been a special day for Balinese, not just for it is a great holy day to celebrate, but also there are interesting rituals and tradition held at this holy day. One of those traditions is Ngelawang.

Ngelawang is a unique tradition in Bali that is held by performing Barong dance on the street, performed by moving from one place to another and mostly only can be found in Galungan and Kuningan celebration. This tradition can be found almost in all villages around Bali. The tradition is believed already exists since tens of years ago from generation to generation.

“Ngelawang” tradition is inherited from generation to generation aims to neutralize the universe, rejecting any kind of diseases that interfere with human life, including “niskala” (abstract / not visible), expelling people who mean harm, interfere with the security of Bali.

Ngelawang tradition in the context of sacred magical as an offering to reject harms as the meaning of ngelawang during Galungan until Kuningan. However, along its development the creative Balinese people do not only done it by bringing sacred objects, but made its copies to be presented as an entertaining ngelawang.

The name of Ngelawang came from the words ‘lawang’, which means ‘door’, so generally ngelawang means a performance that performed by moving to one place to other place or from one village to another.

Nowadays, Ngelawang is not only performed by adult, it is also performed by kids with their own creativity in performing barong dance accompanied by its gamelan (traditional music).

The performance in Ngelawang using sacred barong which  is performed by grown up people is held by taking the barong around the village and performing the barong dance when they passing a temple. Meanwhile the one that is held by children is an entertainment and they will perform the dance when someone gives any offering and donation to them when walking around the village.

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