Today is my “otonan“, maybe if you weren’t Balinese you might asking what is “otonan“? It is a local culture based anniversary or birthday in Balinese Hindu people. We traditionally do not have a birthday system just as the western culture has on their Georgian calender’s system (which is today adopted as international birthday system).
Otonan is based on “wuku“, “sapta wara” and “panca wara“. So this is how its goes, “wuku” is traditional calender systems, which I may say 1 year wuku (1 wuku‘s cycle) consist of 30 wukus numeration (see the list of the 30 wukus on Wikipedia), and every single wuku consist of 1 sapta wara (wara = day; sapta = seven; may translated as 1 week), so 1 wuku‘s cycle (or 1 traditional wuku year) consist of 210 days. And how about the “panca wara“, the panca wara (panca = five; wara = day) traditionally also known as “pasaran” or “pekan” (market day), sometime misunderstanding as a week when people said “akhir pekan” which refer to the end of week. So panca wara is a cycle of five days (see the list Panca Wara on Wikipedia).
So when one birth on this earth, he or she has a specific date of birth according to specific “Panca Wara“, “Sapta Wara ” and “Wuku” of birth. By this systems, the same day in 1 cycle shall come again in next 210 days (1 year wuku), so he or she shall celebrate his/her birthday in next 210 days (about 6 months in Georgian Calender).
When I grew up on a traditional village in Bali, I lived with my mother’s family, my deceased grandma used to make the ritual for my otonan. The sacrament so traditional and simple, we don’t use tart or any birthday cake, we make “tumpeng” a cone of rice with variety ornaments on it. Even the prayer come in daily simple language in Balinese. Its wishing so one would have a good life, good health, blessing with wisdom and nature support. See more about otonan sacrament on PHDI’s site about Otonan.
I was born on December 23rd, 1984 in the middle of the night. So annually I get my birthday on that date, no matter what the day is on that date. But according to the wuku’s system, I born on Radite Wage Wariga at a new moon. Radite refer to the day of Sapta Wara, it is the first day, come from the word Raditya which refer to the Deity of the Sun (which in the cultural known as God personification on Sun’s element). The Radite is the same on Georgian Calender as Sunday in the week, well, I don’t know if it is coincident the “Sun-day” in western is similar with the day of sun (Redite) in Baliness’ culture.
Wage is refer to a day in Panca Wara. And Wariga is refer to specific (name of) wuku on the day I born. Each Sapta Wara, Panca Wara and Wuku have their own character just like when we are talking about zodiac, shio or jyotish systems. The combination of the three elements will give a specific character to someone, and his/her connection with the nature, by combining those elements we could find one’s good day or bad day in future, when one would have a good day for travelling, planting, even for going to barber should be revealed by this system. This system is so interesting, its calender as accurate as the Maya’s, and its has a fortune-like telling for everyone just like tarot card (tough its using different method).
By looking that calculation, my birthday in otonan systems always come on Wuku Wariga, Panca Wara Wage, and Sapta Wara Radite or every Sunday. Not like in Georgian systems my birthday maybe Sunday on this year and maybe Monday on another year. So it is a birthday not a celebration of birth-date 🙂
How about the age? Well, it little bit complicated to explain. I never found something like 24 years old in Georgian System would applied here as I never heard one said 49 year wukus old. Maybe because our ancestor wisdom that viewing life as a cycle, people born, live and die, its all about natural cycle. We do not see time as a linear object, which always moving forward. So we only recognize age as strata, we know new born baby, baby, child, kid, teenager, et cetera. I never see we count age on traditional way.
So…, now back within 24 and a half years ago, I was born under the day of the sun on the darkest night. It should explain my twilight phenomenon and my clairvoyance dumb. Ha ha…, okay, this last part only a joke. Well, at least my Mom still remind me at my otonan, cause I always careless about this thing.