Dramatization of Apsara Apsari: Medeeng Ceremony in North Bali

Exploring the cultural richness of North Bali, we discover the Medeeng Ceremony. Its elaborate preparations, taking over a month, yield meaningful moments adorned with the elegance of traditional attire. The parade featuring youths symbolizing apsaras and apsaris, along with captivating Dawang-Dawang pairs, offers an unforgettable visual and spiritual experience, showcasing Bali's cultural heritage.

Jan 14, 2024 - 00:53
Jan 14, 2024 - 09:50
Dramatization of Apsara Apsari: Medeeng Ceremony in North Bali
Dawang Dawang which is being carried (Source: Private Collection)

Medeeng is the name of a series of ceremonial activities related to the typical Balinese death ceremony, namely Ngaben. This Medeeng ceremony is a typical ceremony from Buleleng, North Bali. Medeeng is a ceremony that involves more young people. This Medeeng event costs a lot of money, especially if the make-up worn is very luxurious and the cost of renting the clothes is also quite expensive. This traditional Medeeng ceremony requires quite a long preparation time, namely more than a month.


Medeeng is carried out the day before the Ngaben ceremony by carrying a procession in the form of a rose or small container which is usually paraded by children and also a line of young people in pairs wearing traditional Buleleng clothing.


The Deeng is generally attended by young people, especially those who are not married. They were dressed in ceremonial attire complete with golden decorations. There are even those who use pure gold decorations, especially Deeng from rich families. They are a symbol of the brave and beautiful apsara (male angels) and apsari (female angels) who accompany the spirit's departure to nirvana.


The Deeng, Young Men and Women March (Source: Private Collection)


In the front row you will see a pair of Dawang-dawang lanang (male) and wadon (female) who are being carried by someone to accompany the Medeeng. Dawang-dawang has its own uniqueness so that it can attract the attention of people who see it. Dawang-dawang's face is made in a beautiful and handsome appearance. To be more feminine, Dawang-dawang wadon (women) are usually dressed in traditional clothes, also equipped with a bun to match the complete appearance of a Balinese woman. Meanwhile, male Dawang-dawang are made to dress up like Balinese men. The Dawangs are made with a stout and more upright body posture than women, adapting to the body shape of a man in general.


Dawang-dawang's beautiful and handsome appearance makes the impression that Dawang-dawang is not scary like ogoh-ogoh. The Dawang-dawang will be carried and walk while being swayed by their bearers, so that they look like they are dancing.


Medeeng is not only a farewell to your beloved, but also a beautiful ceremony and a form of appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of North Bali. Every step, color and smile in this ceremony is living proof of the continuity of the captivating culture on the island of Bali.