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Pagerwesi: Bali's Day of Intense Spirituality

Striving for Goodness and Purity, the Balinese Celebrate Hari Pagerwesi.

(3/6/2010) On Wednesday, March 2, 2010, Balinese Hindus marked Hari Pagerwesi - a day intended to enhance dedication to God and safeguard the world.

Occurring every 210 days, Pagerwesi is celebrated in conjunction with Hari Saraswati which fell earlier, on Friday, February 27th - the day when knowledge, learning and literature are celebrated.

Pagerwesi demands that attractive palm-leaf decorations, flowers and fruits (banten) are placed as offerings in family compound temples where the devout rededicate themselves to God the Almighty. Repeating prayers and appeals made during the high holidays of Galungan and Kuningan - the Balinese seek God's protection, praying for personal welfare and guidance in how best to lead good life.

These Pagerwesi prayers, following just 3 days after Saraswati, seek to take the learning and wisdom bestowed during the earlier holiday, embellishing them with soulful requests for purity, ensuring human wisdom is used to advance the human condition.

On another level, Pagerwesi seeks to strengthen human resolve in the ongoing battle with evil enemies, both those found within our own souls and those threatening us from without.

The celebration of Pagerwesi varies in different parts of Bali dictated, to some degree, by local beliefs and traditions. In the regency of Buleleng in North Bali, Pagerwesi is observed with greater fanfare than the high holiday of Galungan, with followers in the north fervently rejoicing in the victory of Dahrma (goodness) over Adharma (evil).

However, on its most basic level, Pagerwesi seeks to rejuvenate the deep spirituality that sp clearly sets Bali apart from the rest of the world.