Belimbur, the Mass Tradition of Gratitude and Self-Purification – At the same time as the Keraton entourage that escorted Naga Bini and Naga Laki to Kutai Lama, a series of other rituals were held in front of the Kutai Palace. This series of rituals begins with beumban, begorok, rangga titi, and ends with belimbur. Belimbur is not only the last ritual of this series, but also the culmination of the series. In this ritual, the people of Kutai are immersed in joy and joy while getting wet. Every street corner in Kutai that afternoon was wet with water from various walks of life.

Belimbur is a tradition of pouring water on fellow members of the community which is part of the closing ritual of the Erau Festival. This tradition is a form of public gratitude for the smooth implementation of Erau. In addition, belimbur has a philosophical purpose as a means of cleansing oneself from bad qualities and elements of evil. Water, which is the source of life, is believed to be a medium to dissolve human bad qualities.

This ritual is performed after the rangga titi ceremony ends. The start of this ritual is marked by the Sultan’s sprinkling of deaf water (water taken from the Kutai Lama) to the audience. After that, people pour water on each other. This ritual is open to the general public, except for parents who bring underage children and the elderly.

Today, this tradition is developing into a festival full of joy. Apart from having philosophical values, this event is also a means of building intimacy between communities in an atmosphere far from formal manners.

Along with the times, society now does not just literally water. There are some of them who even use media such as fire pumps or wrapping water in plastic bags. For teenagers, this festival is an arena for water battles between their peers which only happens once a year. [Ardee / IndonesiaKaya]

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