The Balinese celebrate the Pagerwesi ceremony every six months according to the Balinese calendar. The celebration is usually three days after the Saraswati day. The word Pagerwesi is derived from two Javanese words, pager (fence) and wesi (iron). Pagerwesi literally means the day of “iron fence”.
Pagerwesi is dedicated to honour Siva, the God manifestation as Sanghyang Pramesi Guru, guardian of the universe, which is meant to ask for protection and prosperity. Pagerwesi has a very close relationship with Saraswati which falls four days after Saraswati Day. After people received knowledge on Saraswati Day, Pagerwesi is the day to show our respect to the teacher and the main Guru (God or Siva). Another correlation between Saraswati and Pagerwesi is that the knowledge must be protected from bad influences and misuse.
Pagerwesi is the day when Balinese fortify the space around themselves to ward off evil spirits, a day of offerings for the protection of the village and families and the world around them. On this day, villagers take offerings to cemeteries for the un-cremated dead. Celebrated in every home compound and temple throughout Bali, Pagerwesi is a popular time for large and colorful temple ceremonies, notably at Payogan Agung Temple in Ketewel.
As on the day Galungan, on the day of Pagerwesi, “penjors” (a tall decorated bamboo poles) are raised which makes it a day as almost as important as Galungan. This ceremony is almost strictly observed in Buleleng regency.
The word Soma Ribek is derived from Soma which means Monday and Ribek which means full. On this day, Balinese people bring offerings to the rice box. They thank God for food and beverage in their lives and pray to Dewi Sri (Goddess of Prosperity) for prosperity. The philosophy of Soma Ribek Day is food and beverage, which is the third most important thing for human life.
The philosophy of Saraswati and Pagerwesi celebrations are that people must keep knowledge, health, food, cloth and gold high in their lives to keep the universe in balance.