The Balinese celebrate various festivals each year and hold firm to their traditions and rituals that are pass down from their ancestors. Perang Pandan in the Tenganan Village is one of the rituals. Practised by the Bali Aga community, this ritual combat involves clubs made from pandan. According to Hindu mythology, this is how this tradition started and ever since the Tenganan community worship Indra as their deity. They honour their deity by taking part in the Perang Pandan ritual combat.
Based on Tenganan tradition, a 7-year-old child and adult males need to take part in this ritual combat. For the young, this tradition is a passage into manhood. During the combat, participants only wear traditional headgear (udeng) and sarong (kamen). Throughout the combat, competitors will try to scratch and swing their clubs at each other. The offering to appease Indra is each other’s bloodshed.
Although there are wounds on certain parts of the body, a traditional ointment is used to heal the wounds. The ointment is mainly made from a combination of galangal, arrack, turmeric as well as other spices.
This year, Tenganan Festival will take place on 7 & 8 June. So, in case you don’t know where to head out, this can be something new on your agenda.