photo by Kumparan / IST
Welcoming the new year, young people in Gianyar, Bali held a Siat Yeh or water war, which was the closing event of the 2021 Suwat Water Festival. With the theme Rising Together with Water, the event was held at the village crossroad with the aim of purification on a spiritual level.
This event feels special because the Siat Yeh ritual coincides with Siwaratri day. On this day Hindus worship Lord Shiva to contemplate, reflect and take steps to be better than before.
The head of the traditional village Suwat, Putu Sudibya said this year’s festival was interpreted as a momentum for the rise of Bali after almost two years of pandemic. He hopes that tourism will recover soon and activities will return to normal.
“We raise the spirit as a festival. It is time for us to get out of confinement and excessive fear, but without neglecting vigilance,” said Putu Sudibya on Saturday (1/1/2022).
Villagers arrived shortly after the sound of the kulkul ringing. They gathered at the village crossroads. The prayer was led by several jro mangku at the crossroad.
After that, Siat Yeh started. The participants were splashing each other with water. Laughter rang out among the cacophony of squeaks and splashes.
Sudibya said that he interpreted this 7th festival as a moment to build a vision of a 2024 traditional village towards a water tourism destination. Sudibya said, several stages have been passed, from planning, structuring, to the realization of a village that has a tourist attraction.
This village already has a tourist attraction Suwat Waterfall, then a spiritual tour of the worship of Shiva. It doesn’t stop there, there will be further plans that need to be realized to build village economic independence.
“The Suwat Traditional Village is trying to build an economic strength based on traditional villages. We have made a business related to water. First, the Suwat Waterfall, and the second is the worship of Siwa Melahangge. Then we are heading to the culinary business. We hope we can make it happen with the support of all,” he explained.
Sudibya said that if each village can work in the sector, there will be an equal distribution of tourism for mutual prosperity.