Selasa, 03 Maret 2009

Welfare and happiness are needed by people to support their spiritual life. To obtain this, people had created norms which gradually became traditions. Each nation and tribe has different traditions, and Javanese tradition may be the most complicated in the world. From mother’s womb until three years after death, Javanese go through periods of certain ceremonies. Following are some Javanese tradition ceremonies:
1. Traditional ceremony held for a woman who has been pregnant for seven months is called mitoni or tingkeban. The ceremony is aimed at the education given to the baby to-be since it is in mother womb. The baby to-be receives the education indirectly through its mother emotion. The ceremony is always held on Wednesday or Saturday of the middle of the month at nine to eleven o’clock in the morning. In this event the mother to-be is bathed by her parents, grandparents, and other older relatives. The water used is mixed with any kinds of flowers called kembang setaman, flowers picked from one garden.
2. The first earth-touching ceremony is a ceremony for a baby who is allowed to touch the earth for the first time. It is called tedak sinten. Tedak means to step down from mother’s carrying and siten or siti means earth. This ceremony is held when the baby is about 254 days old, in the morning of his or her birthday, in the front yard.
3. Exorcism ritual. This rite is called ruwatan, a ceremony held to save children from any disturbances, accidents, and fatalities. Most Javanese believe that a family that has only one child, two children of different or same sex, five sons or daughters, and some others must hold such ceremony. Otherwise, the child will be swallowed by Divine Ogre. This belief and ceremony have been existed since the Majapahit Age.
4. Circumcision or Sunatan, or Tetesan is a ceremony for boys. Parents must circumcise their sons marking their readiness to become a fully grown person. It is originated from Jewish tradition. Jewish baby boys of eight days old must be circumcised as a covenant between God and His people. But now, teenagers are expected to do circumcision.
5. Wedding ceremony is held in series, from bathing the bride to-be and the groom to-be called Siraman, a day before the wedding party and is continued with Malam Midodareni, the night in which the bridge to-be is isolated from the groom‘s sight. In this event, the bridge to-be is treated as a goddess. Both ceremonies are perfectly prepared with prayers asking God’s bless and expecting the smooth and happy wedding. In the wedding, beautiful and elegant aristocratic ceremony is performed.
6. Funeral and commemoration of the dead people are the last ceremonies held for the sake of people’s welfare and happiness now, and in the hereafter. The commemoration after the death is held for the first day after one’s death continued to the third day, seventh day, fortieth day, one hundredth day, first year, second year and third year.
In all the traditional ceremonies, neighbors participate in ritual gathering. They involved in ritual prayers and eat ritual meals. One who holds the ceremony must offer flowers and food to spirits.

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