Although not as well known as Galungan, Kuningan or Nyepi, Pagerwesi is one of the most important holidays on the Balinese calendar. Celebrated every 6 months on the Balinese Calendar (210 days) Pagerwesi always falls on a Wednesday, and four days after Saraswati.
The word Pagerwesi itself is a combination of two words, Pager meaning fence and Wesi meaning iron. It is the day that the Balinese Hindu dedicate themselves to ‘fencing off’ evil souls in purgatory to be able to receive the glory and blessing of ‘Sanghyang Pramesti Guru’ (god the creator).
The Balinese believe that fencing off good from evil, positive from negative and that together with enough knowledge, guidance and strong spiritual faith then the moral man will be better. Pagerwesi is that day to remind and bring this back into focus.
Going around Bali on Pagerwesi you may see the Balinese placing offerings on the graves of deceased family members who have yet to be cremated to ward off evil while in temples there are spectacular dances with gamelan music. One of the more notable temple celebrations is held at Payogan Agung Temple in Ketewel wherein the Legong Dedari (sacred masked legong dance) is performed accompanied by an ancient gamelan instruments reportedly dating back to the Sukawati Kingdom.