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Balimau, Marpangir, Padusan: Bathing Tradition before Ramadan 

Sunday, 12 March 2023 - 05:31
Balimau, Marpangir, Padusan: Bathing Tradition before Ramadan  Illustration: a woman dipping her bidy into the river. (Photo: lifeforstock/Freepik)

TIMES JAZIRAH, JAKARTA – For Muslims, Ramadan is more than just a month where they should fasting from sunrise till sunset. And the local community in Indonesia, they even have some customs to clean their body a day before the holy month coming called Padusan, Balimau, orMarpangir

They took Ramadan to another level and make it as a holy month when good deed should be spread with clean heart and soul. With this custom they will clean themselves in certain spring water like river, waterfall, or just small creek they found around their area. 

It is one of their way to say they are ready to start the month and keep the bad thing out of them. These traditions have been passed through generations and keep it the way it is till now. This tradition has been acknowledged by most muslim in the country. 

A Brief Look to Padusan, Balimau, and Marpangir 

1. Padusan 

Padusan came from Javanese language adus which literally means to bath. This term is used by the East Java and Central Java community to called the way they clean themselves before Ramadan. Some will find some spring water and soak themselves from head to toe, and some will just go to a nearby waterfall to and rinse their body. 

Some will soak their body in the creek or river or just having it at their own bathroom. Back then some even had to do it in certain sacred spring just to get the secrecy. But as the modern day comes, it tend to the purifying element that matter. 

2. Balimau 

Balimau is another name dor Padusan. It  came from Minangkabau language which literally means bathing with lime or lemon. It is because it uses lime or lemon in the practice. Just like the local communty of Java, the Minang society of West Sumatra wil go for sacred spring for this occasion. 

However nowadays, they just tend to have it in certain spring, creek, river, or waterfall. Some people also choose to do it in their house instead of going somewhere far away to find some nearby spring. The lime or lemon was used for it was known with its strong antibacteria essence.  

3. Marpangir 

Marpangir is also one way to called Padusan by the local community of Medan, West Sumatra.  It literally means as bathing with pangir or local herbs and spices. The local community of Medan still doing the tradition by visiting the local spring, river and creek for this place has dozens of stunning spring water. (*)

Writer : Khodijah Siti
Editor : Khodijah Siti

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