Babies in Bali are treated rather special. For the first three months of their life, they do not touch the earth! Babies are considered to be anchored to the spiritual world until they reaches 105 days old. Being too sacred to be contaminated by earth, the result is that babies are constantly being carried in someone’s arms, and everyone helps out to carry the baby.
Besides the spiritual aspect of this, it must certainly be nice to be cuddled incessantly! ( I know I wouldn’t mind!)
As you must already know, the Balinese culture has many rituals, and the Nyabutan Ceremony is but one of them. At three months of age, a sacred Balinese Hindu ceremony is carried out to celebrate the first time a Balinese baby is allowed to touch the floor.
This ceremony is a sacred one, and only close family and friends are invited to the ceremony, given that young children are considered to be more susceptible to negative influences.
A priest will be invited to conduct the ceremony, and there are a series of purification rituals, chantings and blessings. The priest will bless the child with holy water, and allow the child’s feet to finally touch Mother Earth. The baby is often also given gifts of jewellery.
Bali is truly an island of fascinating myths, traditions, rituals and indisputably rich culture. Continue to join us as we uncover a little more about Bali each week!