On Tuesday the 12th of December 2018, we had the honor to participate in a ceremony at The Elementum Bali, whose buildings were blessed as per the Hindu Balinese tradition called The Melaspas.
The word Melaspas comes from Balinese words Mlas, the separator, and Pas, meaning fitting. The ceremony is for all elements to live in a harmonious way – by elements we mean the seen elements such as the buildings and the unseen like the surrounding spirits.
The cleaning and purifying ritual is mandatory to all new businesses but is a real treat for foreigners to experience. Each guest is dressed in the traditional Balinese outfit which consist of a light color (ideally white) kebaya (top), a kamen (skirt) and a selendang (colorful belt made of textile) for women. Men are required to wear a kamen (similar to a sarong), a baju (a white shirt) and a selendang just as their female counterpart. The male outfit is complete with a udeng, a headband wrapped around the head.
The Melaspas is carried out over a couple of hours when the Gamelan (traditional music players) is playing for the crowd and is accompanied by a Pemangku, priest, blessing all offerings to be buried in the ground throughout the property for protection. Women from the village will then throw holy water to each part of the property to ensure it is fully protected. The land owner and business owners and employees offer prayers to receive blessings as part of the final ritual.