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Tumpek Kandang: a day to honor household animals

DENPASAR ( Household animals in Bali will receive special honor when local Hindus celebrate Tumpek Kandang Day, a ceremony dedicated to Sang Hyang Rare-Angon, master of all cattle and livestock. This year's Tumpek Kandang Day will fall on December 15. The rituals will be held at every farm and family compound.

Tumpek Kandang, which is sometimes called Tumpek Andang, falls on the Saturday of Uye, in the 22nd week of the pawukon cycle. The name of Tumpek Kandang is derived from two words, "Tumpek" meaning Saturday and "Kandang", the Balinese word for the household animals such as cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs, and birds - all of which are highly valued by the Balinese. Tumpek Kandang is a day to worship Sang Hyang Rare-Angon (God of animals).

Cows in Bali receive better treatment than other animals because they assist farmers when plowing the rice field. The cows are washed and dressed-up in clothes fit for humans and special cone shaped spiral of coconut leaves is placed on their horns.

The pigs are usually decorated with a white cloth wrapping their bellies. The animals are then fed with special foods, sprinkled with rice and holy water and prayers are offered.

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