A Nice Day for Rice

It says so right here in my pocket Balinese calendar:  June 23rd is an auspicious day for putting rice into the rice barn. Think that’s funny or strange? Not so here in Bali. Bali uses the Wuku system in which one year is comprised of two otons (cycles) of 30 weeks each – a total of 420 days in the Balinese Calendar system.

Nearly every activity is ruled and regulated by the calendar. Especially of a religious nature or purpose, which here in Bali means nearly every day. The calendar determines the best day for undertaking certain activities, going places, getting married and knowing the dates of temple ceremonies.

Here are some of the auspicious dates for June 2011:

The 2nd of the month was a good day to hunt, castrate an animal, train livestock and plant a fruit tree. The 11th, a good day to make a dam, start planting rice and make a fence. If you wanted to make a fish pond, burn bricks, purify yourself or make a Kulkul (traditional bell), you’re out of luck this month; the auspicious days for those are over. Same goes for starting a business or starting to learn (anything, I suppose).

You’re in luck if you want to make a beehive or dig a well, the 28th is coming up. The day before is best for making the foundation of a house. But guys wanting to propose to their girlfriends have it best; they can pick one of TEN days this month to pop the question (then again, it doesn’t quite work like that here in Bali).

I’d wanted to get a haircut this month, but the last auspicious day for doing so this month fell yesterday. I wonder if the hairdresser would oblige anyway if I stepped foot in her saloon today…

The only activity that bears the hallmark of auspiciousness today is putting rice into the rice barn. I may or may not see much of that going on about town. If not, I just have to wait two days until I hear the sounds of music in the air; after all, the 25th is a good day for learning to dance and to play gamelan!

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