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Pagerwesi is a Balinese ceremony celebrated every 210 days according to the traditional Balinese calendar, just three days after the Saraswati festivities.

The name of this ceremony is obtained from two local words: pager and wesi. Pager is a local word that translates to ‘fence’, while wesi means ‘iron’. The complete word’s literal meaning is “iron fence”, when the Balinese strengthen their minds and souls against evil forces.

Pagerwesi 2024 Dates, Festival & Celebration in Bali, Indonesia

The festivities are held in honour of Siva, the third deity in the Hindu religion. Siva is honoured as the god who protects the universe, and locals will pay their respects to invoke prosperity and pray for protection.

The festival date coincides with the celebration of Saraswati. This is because Pagerwasi is held to protect and shield this knowledge and inspiration from evil forces after celebrating knowledge and divine inspiration during Saraswati.

One of the most significant activities that the locals will engage in is fortifying their homes and businesses to keep away dark spirits. Offerings are made by families and villages to be protected from evil.

It is also common for locals to make offerings at various cemeteries as a way to celebrate those who have not been cremated. The hallmark of these celebrations is the colourful festivities at numerous temples across Bali. For visitors, look out for the ‘penjors’, tall bamboo poles strapped to raise offerings, making this a striking similarity between Pagerwesi and Galungan, both important ceremonies in Bali.

If you head to the temples, wear the correct attire, including a sarong to your ankles and cover your shoulders and midriffs.

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Ceremonies are conducted at temples and villages around the Island, Bali, Indonesia

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