27 Sep 2023


Kwangen is derived from Old Javanese vocabulary wangi which means fragrant. After getting prefix ke- and suffix -an becomes kewangen and after undergoing phonetic assimilation becomes kwangen meaning fragrance that functions to scent the name of Supreme God. Kwangen is used as a means in ritual as a complement of upakara or oblation. It is widely used in the worship. In addition, it is also used as a complement to the Panca Yajña ritual:
  • Deva Yajña, as a complement of banten tetebasan, prayascita and various types of sesayut.
  • Rishi Yajña, used to complement banten tetebasan.
  • Pitri Yajña, used to symbolically revive the corpse consecrated by putting the kwangen on every joint of the dead body.
  • Manusha Yajña, use in otonan or "real birthday" based on pawukon calendar, tooth filing, marriage, and complementary offerings.
  • Bhuta Yajña, used in ceremonies like memakuh and mecaru.

Ingredients used to make kwangen:

  • Kojong, made from a sheet of banana leaf in triangular taper symbolizing the ardha candra (half-moon).
  • Pelawa, a piece of foliage like cabbage palm leaf, screwpine, croton and other green foliage symbolizing peace.
  • Porosan, made of two pieces of betel leaf rolled with an upturned and face down position, and then they are combined. It's called porosan silih asih representing the mutual relationship between human devotion and affection of God.
  • Kembang payas, in semi-circular shape made of a series of jaggy young coconut leaf arrangement. Semi-circular shape symbolizes tone, while the jaggy leaf arrangement symbolizes sincerity.
  • Flowers, namely fresh and fragrant flower symbolizes the freshness and purity of mind in organizing sacrificial ritual.
  • Two pieces of perforated coin symbolize two bindus (tone); the money symbolizes the essence of mind. Besides, the money also functions as compensation to all the existing shortcomings.

Source: Semeton Bali