Javanese Mitoni Ceremony


Siraman Ritual

The Siraman tradition could take place either in the family bathroom or in a special place in the backyard of the house, specially designed for this purpose. Siraman is from the word siram, which means to take a bath. This holy bathing ritual in Mitoni is done to purify the would-be mother and the baby.

The spacious green garden of a Javanese mansion has been beautifully decorated. A big earthen bowl is filled with water and Siraman flowers like rose, jasmine, magnolia and cananga. The water itself is holy water from seven springs.

On a bright sunny morning, melodious gamelan music is being played to accompany the Mitoni ceremony in the house of the would-be mother's parent. Several ladies in colourful traditional Kebaya (shirts) and Batik cloths are participating to give their blessing.

The would-be mother, wearing no rings, bracelets, necklaces, ear-rings, etc. is dressed in a white loose cloth. She is escorted by several ladies to the bathing place in the back garden. She sits on a chair covered with an old mat and several kind of plant leaves like opok-opok, alang-alang, oro-oro, dadap srep and awar-awar (all depicting safety) and the leaves of kluwih (depicting a more prosperous life).

The first person to bath her is the grand-father and then the grand mothers followed by several elder women with good moral back-ground who have already grand children. Usually there are seven people to bath her, seven in Javanese means pitu, and so they can give pitulungan, which means help.

Seven times she is purified with holy water from seven springs, with water from an earthen kendi flash with a neck and a spout. When the kendi is empty, it is broken on the floor: when the kendi's spout is not broken, it is believed that the baby will be a boy, otherwise it's a girl.



Java, the heart of the Indonesian Republic. An Orientation to the Culture and Traditions of Java.




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  • Javanese Ceremonies Traditions that are celebrated within the culture of the Indonesian people on Java.
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