The Unique Tradition of "Mesuryak" in Welcoming Kuningan Day

This unique tradition is called mesuryak, a tradition carried out by the people of Bongan Village in Tabanan Regency. This tradition is only carried out every Kuningan Day after the prayer. This tradition is unique because the people will gather in front of the residents' houses and one of the residents will throw money and some offerings upwards and then the residents will fight over each other and don't forget to shout to enliven this tradition.

Sep 8, 2023 - 09:04
Sep 9, 2023 - 15:49
The Unique Tradition of "Mesuryak" in Welcoming Kuningan Day
Mesuryak Tradition (Source: Personal Collection)

The Mesuryak tradition is a tradition that originates from the village of Bongan, Tabanan District, Tabanan Regency, Bali. Mesuryak comes from the word "Suryak," which means shouting or cheering. Mesuryak is typically carried out by the people of Bongan Village during the celebration of Kuningan Day, which is dedicated to honoring and sharing with their ancestors while expressing gratitude for the blessings bestowed by Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. This tradition is usually performed in several houses to observe it. Mesuryak symbolizes prosperity, and the throwing of money during this tradition is a symbol of gratitude to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa and to the ancestors.

This activity has been carried out since ancient times by our ancestors, and no one knows its exact origin and when it started. The Mesuryak tradition has become a unique characteristic of Bongan Village, Tabanan, where it is performed after the Kuningan Day prayers. The community gathers at one house to carry out this tradition. It's not limited to just one house; there will be several houses participating in this tradition. Typically, this tradition is performed by extended families, but it's also possible for other villagers to join in and add to the festivities.

The Mesuryak tradition is performed on the day of Wuku Kuningan in the Saniscara calendar. This tradition takes place every 10 days after the Galungan Day or coinciding with the Kuningan Day. It is only conducted once every 6 months, specifically during the Kuningan Day. As we know, Kuningan Day is believed to be the day when our ancestors return to their heavenly abode after spending almost 2 weeks with us to celebrate Galungan and Kuningan Days. Therefore, the Mesuryak tradition is intended to provide our departing ancestors with various offerings and money.

This tradition originates from Bongan Village, Tabanan District, Tabanan Regency, Bali. Even though it's unclear which generation of ancestors started this tradition, it continues to be observed to this day. Typically, this tradition is carried out in one house, taking turns to distribute money and offerings called "Mesuryak". The residents, including teenagers, will compete with each other. Sometimes, this tradition is limited to just family members, either at home or in their respective community temples (merajan and sanggah). Not to forget, to add excitement and become an icon of this tradition, there is the noise and shouting as people compete for money and offerings.

Mesuryak Tradition (Source: Personal Collection)

Another uniqueness of this tradition is that it is performed to accompany our ancestors by shouting "Suryak" together. Therefore, this tradition is carried out during Kuningan Day because Kuningan Day is the day when our ancestors, who have descended to Earth since Galungan Day, will return to their heavenly abode. By throwing money and offerings from the earth upwards, it symbolizes that we are providing provisions for our ancestors who are about to return to the heavenly realm. In doing so, we are bidding farewell to our ancestors with warm wishes and a safe journey back to the heavenly realm.

As we can see in the picture above, the atmosphere during the Mesuryak tradition is very lively and is attended by people of all ages, from teenagers and children to the elderly. Usually, during this time, the older residents (those who are working and have an income) will distribute their money and throw it, creating shouts and excitement, as symbolized by the word "Mesuryak" itself.

The Mesuryak tradition is a unique tradition that is rarely known to the wider community. Its uniqueness lies in its beautiful way of accompanying our ancestors on their journey back. This uniqueness sets it apart from other traditions. It would be wonderful if this tradition continues to be passed down so that our descendants can experience the excitement and enjoyment of the Mesuryak tradition in the future.