By Helen Brecht
PURNAMA is the day after the new moon and it holds special significance in Bali. It is the day the “Gods descend to the earth and give their blessings.” At Green School, the Junior School honours this auspicious day with a ceremony.
Pak Dee assembles the children in front of the Green School shrine, dressed in a golden yellow cloth. It is at 8.30am and the children are taken through their Hindu prayers to the Gods.
Banana leaf baskets filled with flowers for an offering are placed at their feet. They sit, the boys in their udengs, baju kokos, and saputs, the girls in their kebayas, selendangs, and kamens. Pak Dee explains how “hundreds of ceremonies are held in all corners of the island to honour the gods and to show respects for the ancestors”.
Children hold their offerings above their heads whilst repeating a traditional Balinese prayer.
They place flowers behind their ears. They open their palms upwards whilst the women go around and sprinkle water on their heads.
They take three sips of water from cups that are handed around while receiving their Purnama blessing.