In our previous post, we explained about Galungan Day, which is a big 10-day celebration in Bali. Kuningan Day marks the end of this 10-day celebration period. On this day, Balinese people celebrate with special offerings made of yellow turmeric rice.
Everywhere in Bali, the celebration of Kuningan is almost the same. But there is one place in particular where Kuningan gets a lot more interesting than it already is – in Munggu village, in Badung.
In Munggu, the villagers have been celebrating Kuningan in their own way for years, and it’s become one of the reasons to visit this village on Kuningan Day. They have the tradition called “Mekotek”. In this ritual, the villagers are divided into several groups of 50 people where each participant brings a 2.5 meters pole from a skinned branch ,so they can stick them all together in order to make a pyramid shape.
With so many poles involved, the sound of the poles hitting each other is quite loud, creating the sound of “tek” (Indonesian spelling of imitating the knocking poles’ sound). That is why this ritual is called “Mekotek”.
The villagers believe that this ritual is the prayer to God for safety and health. They have been celebrating Kuningan with this ritual since the colonial age of Indonesia. Some sources mention there was a time when the villagers stopped doing this ritual, and that’s when the whole village started getting sick, but as soon as the ritual was started again the diseases stopped spreading. Which is why Munggu will always practice this fascinating ritual.
Make sure to be in Bali until Kuningan Day this year, and let Total Bali organise a day trip for you in Munggu, we promise it will be worth it!