Javanese Tedak Siten Ceremony


Tedak Siten Ceremony: Ritual of Stepping Foot on Earth.

Tedak means to step, to set foot.
Siten (Siti) means soil, earth.
Tedak Siten means to set foot on earth.

This ritual illustrates that the little child is ready to start a successful life, with God's blessing and with the guidance from his or her parents.

This traditional ceremony is performed when a child is seven Selapan which is 245 days (Selapan is 35 days). There are five Pasaran (market) days in one Selapan: Legi, Pahing, Pon, Wage en Kliwon. Every day is therefore named differently in one Selapan period. One period from Sunday Legi to Saturday Kliwon is 35 days. That's named Weton in Javanese. For a Javanese to know his/her weton day is important.

 Sunday Legi  Monday Pahing  Tuesday Pon  Wednesday Wage  Thursday Kliwon
 Friday Legi  Saturday Pahing  Sunday Pon  Monday Wage  Tuesday Kliwon
 Wednesday Legi  Thursday Pahing  Friday Pon  Saturday Wage  Sunday Kliwon
 Monday Legi  Tuesday Pahing  Wednesday Pon  Thursday Wage  Friday Kliwon
 Saturday Legi  Sunday Pahing  Monday Pon  Tuesday Wage  Wednesday Kliwon
 Thursday Legi  Friday Pahing  Saturday Pon  Sunday Wage  Monday Kliwon
 Tuesday Legi  Wednesday Pahing  Thursday Pon  Friday Wage  Saturday Kliwon


Usually the ritual is organized in the morning in the front yard of the house. Except the parents and the family, some elderly people also present to give their blessing to the child. The required sajen / offering symbolizes a prayer to God to receive His blessing and protection, to receive blessings from the ancestors, to get protection from evil and to ensure that the ritual ceremony can be held in a good and safe atmosphere.

After the preparations have been done, the family (the parent, the child, and the relatives) and invitees gather together at the place of the ceremony.



A traditional religious feast. The word Selamatan expresses the notions of thanksgiving, blessing, and grace. At the same time, a Selamatan is not really a religious feast. Although prayers may be said and a passage read or chanted from the Qur’an, this is something that goes back a long time before the arrival of Islam. The Selamatan is partly a way of expressing family and neighbourhood solidarity - very important in Indonesia - and partly a way of seeking or keeping the protection of unseen powers. Through the sharing of ritual food, prayers, and fellowship in a Selamatan, the Javanese frequently perform a ritual that demonstrates their belief that they can and should maintain order and constrain dangerous disorder.


Siraman Rituals

The baby is bathed or cleaned with « setaman» flowers: roses, jasmines, magnolias and canangas. This ritual represents hope that the baby will bring respect, honour, and fame to the family.


Turun Tanah Rituals

The baby is guided to walk on a path of 7 different colours (red, white, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet) of glutinous rice plates, or jadah or tetel. They are made from glutinous rice, mix with young coconut grating and a pinch of salt. The colour of these plates symbolizes different steps in life. They are arranged from darker colour to brighter colour. The baby must step from the darker plate to the brighter plate, from darkness in life to clarity. The child will be able to overcome all obstacles in life.


Family and Guests

At the end, the baby is dressed neatly with beautiful and new dresses. This represents hope that the baby should always have a good and prosperous life, and he/she can make the parents to live happily.



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




  • The Island of Java Java is the fifth-largest island of Indonesia. With a population of 120 million people (65% of the total population in Indonesia) living on an area of 127569 sq. km (7% of the total Indonesian area), it is the most crowded island in the world..
  • Javanese Ceremonies Traditions that are celebrated within the culture of the Indonesian people on Java.
  • Mixed Marriage A mixed marriage is when two people from different cultural backgrounds or different religious traditions or faiths marry.