Tumpek Landep – blessing of scuba regulators!
Tumpek Landep is the Balinese ceremony for Iron, so on this day all machinery is blessed whether it be a car, a boat, a compressor, a printer or a regulator! Tumpek Landep always takes place on the Saturday precisely on Saniscara Wage Wuku Landep based on the 210 days Balinese calendar.
A feast for the Gods!
More preparation goes into the offerings for Tumpek Landep than catering for a 50 strong 9 year old’s birthday party! Each offering is carefully crafted in intricate bowls and boxes made by hand from coconut leaves and filled with an array of food and flowers to thank the gods. It is a veritable feast, food includes grilled chicken, fish, fruit of every kind, cakes and cookies and of course rice (this is Asia after all)! The flowers are common to the island of Bali, bougainvillea, marigolds (gumitir) and the beautiful fragrant frangipani (Jepun).
All vehicles are decorated
Landep actually means sharp and this festival has been around since the days when traditional curvy doubled bladed swords called ‘Keris’ were made. While there are not many swords around these days, this tradition seems to have evolved to encompass all modern man-made items made from metal and motor vehicles. Hence, all the cars, motorbikes and other pieces of machinery are adorned with beautiful intricate stitched-leaf ornaments called ‘tamiang ‘ and ‘sampian’ decorations on this day.
Symbolically metallic equipment is worshiped in order that it will bring safety and fortune to the owner. Tumpek Landep is basically held to sharpen mind, because Balinese believe that the highest level and the greatest weapon of human being is their mind, which can bring someone to a better life. By sharpening the mind, they hope it brings more intelligence, to face and overcome the enemy from inside human’s body, such as poverty, stupidity, and many problems in life.
The blessing ceremony
A priest is employed for a nominal fee to carry out the ceremony, this involves a mantra will a small bell which is mesmorising for anyone observing, where he will bless the machinery. The heady smell of burning incense adds to the atmosphere. Holy water mixed with flowered coconut juice is sprayed on the cars, motorbikes, dive computers etc. Followed by leafs of the frangipani flower scattered like confetti.
The priest will then conduct a prayer for any Balinese Hindu present. After prayer, rice is placed on their forehead for good thoughts, on the base of the neck for a good kind heart and flowers behind the ear so that they hear good things.
Traditional dress is used for ceremonies in Bali which includes a sarong for both men and women and an Udeng (Balinese head covering) for the men.
To find out more about the unique Balinese culture and to experience it for yourself, take a look at our Diving Indo Bali land tours