Mud-Slinging at its Best

Mebuug-buugan Ritual Alive and Well in Village of Kedonganan, Bali

The ancient Balinese ritual of mebuug-buugan in the traditional village of Kedonganan in South Kuta had been abandoned for nearly 60 years before being revived just three years ago. Held on the day following the day of silence, falling this year on Friday, March 8, 2019, the tradition of mebuug-buugan sees the hundreds of young men and women of the village, clad only in sarongs to maintain their modesty, walk through the area’s mangrove forest where they cover each other in copious quantities of mud before adjourning to the nearby seaside to wash away the soil.

Local villagers insist that in the distant past the mud ritual of mebuug-buugan played a larger role in Kedonganan’s Nyepi celebrations than the now popular Ogoh-Ogoh parades.

The group mud baths are seen locally as a purification ceremony and a means of offering thanks to the Almighty.

Before being suspended some 60 years ago, participants who once attended the ritual in the nude before standards of modern modesty caused the event to be abandoned for six decades before being reinstated 3 years ago with the adoption of a dress code allowing sarongs to be worn.

in the most recent marking of the event, hundreds of youthful villagers, predominated by young men, cover themselves in mud while praying for the Almighty's blessing. The day ends with mud-covered participants wash away the mud in the sea.

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