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God Bless the Tools of Our Trades

Bali Marks Tumpek Landep a Day Dedicated to Machines and Tools

(3/24/2014) On Saturday, March 22, 2014, the Balinese Hindus marked Tumpek Landep – a special day in the ritual cycle of the Island set aside to honor physical objects made from metals and weapons used in combat.

On this day, hand-made and highly decorative offerings of palm leaves, flowers and fruits are carefully fashioned and then offered to the Almighty in prayer.

With the passage of timel the list of items honored on Tumpek Landap has expanded. Sacred weapons and farming implements honored in years gone by are now joined by mechanical tools, factory machinery, vehicles of every description and, more recently, even computerized gadgets.

Prayers to the mechanical devices of our daily life performed on Tumpek Landep are normally carried out at every Balinese home, as grand or as modestly as family finances permit. The series of prayers and offerings can stretch from morning and throughout the door until the evening hours.

Visitors to Bali on Tumpek Landep day are certain to see cars, motorcycles and even public transport traveling down the Island’s roadways sporting elaborate woven palm ornamentation hanging from drills and side-mirrors.

Celebrated once every 210 days during the Bali-Hindu calendar year, Balinese farm communities will also make living sacrifices to their farming implements before adorning those same tools of the agricultural trade with woven decorations made from lontar leaves.