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 full word’s literal meaning is iron fence, when the Balinese people strengthen their minds and souls against evil forces.
Pagerwesi 2023 Dates, Festival & Celebration in Bali, Indonesia
The date of the festival 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 the fortification of their individual homes and businesses in a bid 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 decide to head to the temples, wear the correct attire, including a sarong to your ankles and cover your shoulders and midriffs.