Every woman would want to look beautiful on her wedding day. In Bali, there is a unique ritual performed by the bride and groom to welcome the big day. It's called the Ngekeb tradition. What does the tradition look like? Let's look at the article below.
The ritual to beautify ourselves ahead of the wedding day is not just a desire to look charming in front of the future spouse. More than that, paying attention to the body by taking care from head to toe, is part of traditional ceremonies that exist in almost every region in Indonesia. If in Java this ritual is known as Siraman, then in Bali it is known as Ngekeb.
Ngekeb is a ritual performed the day before the wedding ceremony. Before the ritual begins, the whole family will say a prayer to Sang Hyang Widhi asking for a smooth procession to be carried out. The ritual begins by putting body scrubs on the bride's body. Scrub used is a kind of traditional scrub made of peacock leaves, kenanga flower, turmeric, and also finely ground rice into a paste. The scrub aims to smooth the skin of the bride to be more radiated during the wedding day later. After a few moments, followed by washing the hair using water mixed with straw or dried rice stalks to make the bride and groom's hair looks black and shiny.
After being scrubbed, they are bathed in flower water, the bride and groom are then locked up in the room until the bridegroom comes to pick up the next day. During the seclusion process, the bride-to-be will offer a relentless prayer to God. To be willing to provide smoothness and happiness in married life, to receive gifts in the form of good offspring, and a household that is always blessed by God. In addition to praying, self-reflection should also be done by the bride to be more prepared to let go of their single life and assume the responsibility of being a wife and mother later. And this is the closing activity of the Ngekeb Ritual.
The next day, when the pickup was held, the bride's entire body from the toe to the head would be covered with a thin yellow cloth. This is a symbol that the bride is willing to bury her past as a teenager and is now ready to live a new life with her life partner.
So, the Ngekeb ritual is performed not only to enhance the physical appearance of the bride-to-be but also to prepare her mentality for household life with their loved ones.