Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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MECARU CEREMONY

(Me-CAR-oo)
In the Balinese Hindu religion, achieving balance in all things is key, and by making yadnya (holy sacrifices), this goal may be achieved. One such ceremony is called Bhuta Yadnya (the Holy Sacrifice to the Bad Nature Spirits). The Mecaru ceremony is especially designed to heal the rift between man and nature, in particular, placating the more malign spirits that reside in or near bridges, crossroads, and trees. Usually this sacrifice is made every 15 days.
There are three levels at which the Mecaru ceremony can be performed. At the lowest level, the head of a household will give offerings of flowers, ginger, onions, raw meat, and shrimp paste. Then he will acknowledge and honor the spirits who will then have no need to attack or otherwise cause harm to humans. An additional offering of alcoholic beverages made with rice, such as arak or brem, may also be made.
Mecaru ceremonies made at the middle level give offerings of black, red, white, and yellow rice seeds, as well as the sacrificial blood of a chicken or duck poured on the ground. The number of animal sacrifices is not as important as the color, which can vary depending on the need and this decision is made by the pinandita, a low-ranking holy person.
Only a pedanda, or high-ranking holy person,can perform the highest-level Mecaru ceremony. Hundreds of animal sacrifices are made consisting of buffalos, cows, pigs, and puppies. Again, color is important and the animals chosen must be deemed worthy of sacrifice, as they are insured a higher place in their next reincarnation.
Source: Bakan, Music of Death, 77; Danandjaja, Parallelsacht, 6; Jensen, Balinese People, 22; Moeljo, Bali, the World's Belonging, 132
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