A birthday is a special day for most people around the world. People celebrate a birthday with either a small or a big party. Most of them hope that they have an unforgettable birthday party at least once in their lifetime. How about Balinese people? Do they celebrate birthdays? What does a birthday mean to them?
Most Balinese do not celebrate their birthdays like Western people do, even though nowadays there are some in the younger Balinese generation who celebrate their birthdays according to the international calendar. People here celebrate otonan, which occur every 210 days according to the Balinese calendar system.
The otonan ceremony is supposed to be celebrated (or at least must be remembered) during a person’s entire life. But most importantly, celebration of the first until the fourth otonan ceremony is a must! After that, most people don’t celebrate this ritual anymore.
However the otonan ceremony is not for human beings only. There are similar rituals for plants and domesticated animals too. The purpose of these ceremonies is to pray for the plants and animals, in order that they be healthy and useful.