Tradition of Siraman (Bathing) in Javanese Wedding

October 17, 2011 by dwisuka  
Published in Jewelry

Siraman (bathing) is an important ceremony in Javanese marriage. It contains philosophy values.

Marriage ceremony in Javanese Adat is very complex. There are many things that must be done by bride and bridegroom. Notwithstanding, at present people begin leaving the series of ceremonies for practicality.

One of ceremonies in Javanese wedding is Siraman. Siraman is from word ‘siram’ (take a bath). Siraman is a ceremony of bathing the bride and bridegroom prior to the wedding. It’s performed a day before marriage. It symbolizes the bride and bridegroom would be purely clean themselves, physically and mentally, prior to wedding. It also symbolizes leaving all bad things behind.

Bride and bridegroom commit siraman in the 2 separated places, but at the same time. In the ceremony, bride and bridegroom are bathed by their parents, and then followed by the others that elder and last one is pemaes. Pemaes is a traditional makeup woman. She is also leader the ceremony.

To bath the bride or bride groom, someone must fulfill the requirements. They have ever married, and never divorce. They also must have good behavior and good moral. They are 7 people.

The bride and bridegroom must be bathed by flower water. It’s water mixed by flowers like Rose, Jasmine and Kananga. The water must be taken from 7 different sources.

Why must 7? Seven in Javanese is pitu. It means pitulungan (help). It’s a hope to get helping and blessing. Besides, 7 point to the sky that has 7 levels.

At the end of siraman ceremony, bride’s mother must slam a kendi. Kendi is a traditional water jar made from clay. Slamming kendi symbolizes that aura of bride and bridegroom have broken and they are ready to get married.

After siraman, the bride then commits ngerik and midodareni. Ngerik is ceremony of shaving smooth hair in forehead. Midodareni is from word ‘widodari’ (goddess, angel). In midodareni ceremony, bride with beautiful makeup forbidden to sleep until 12 pm. Because it’s time the beautiful angels come from heaven to visit and give their beauty to the bride for wedding.

(Images from Google)

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46 Responses to “Tradition of Siraman (Bathing) in Javanese Wedding”
  1. naruto100 Says:

    Nice information.. :)

  2. girishpuri Says:

    it is a good addition in my knowledge , thanks

  3. binyumanyun Says:

    Nice share..

  4. JOSHNEFF Says:

    Interesting,the practice of cleaning before the marriage as a ceremony instead of just doing before…so caught up in the dressing before and the actual ceremony of marriage that it probably didnt dawn of some of us that our bride or groom might have been so nervous that they forgot to take a shower…
    wow possibly awkward moment on the honey moon…

  5. zulfikar Says:

    interesting, i think similar rituals are performed in Hindu culture also.

  6. jennifer eiffel01 Says:

    I love this article. I like the idea of the bride and groom being bathed. It is sort of like Baptism for Catholics being made pure with the baptism waters.

  7. FX777222999 Says:

    A new knowledge added to my cookie jar about Javanese marriage. Our number seven is also called pitu. Thanks

  8. lonelyplanet Says:

    Thanks for telling us about this special wedding.

  9. dwisuka Says:

    @naruto100: thanks :)
    @girishpuri: thanks for comment, girishpuri
    @binyumanyun: thanks a lot
    @JOSHNEFF: very nice comment, thank you :D
    @zulfikar: no wonder, because Javanese culture is influenced by Hindu culture
    @pattiann: thanks for loving this article, and thanks for your sharing too. very nice :)
    @FX7777222999: surprising. seven in your language is also pitu :D

  10. aheed411 Says:


  11. Eunice Tan Says:

    Hari ini ya siramannya? Pastinya menarik minat banyak turis.

  12. iva75cpb Says:

    It’s always a pleasure reading your posts about different cultures and traditions. Given the fact that I will probably never have the chance to visit these places, your guiding articles are a wonderful way to do it online. Thank you.

  13. dwisuka Says:

    @aheed411: thanks
    @Eunice Tan: siramannya kemarin, pagi tadi akad nikah dan sore ini kirab…. traffic jam di mana-mana. macet :D
    @iva75cpb: you always give wonderful comments. thanks, iva :)

  14. ittech Says:

    I like it!

  15. dwisuka Says:

    @ittechil: thanks a lot, ittechil

  16. Sunjhini Says:

    interesting ceremony. thanks for letting us know of different cultures

  17. dwisuka Says:

    @lonelyplanet: thanks for commenting

  18. dwisuka Says:

    @Sunjhini: thanks for reading and commenting, Sunjhini :)

  19. Aroosa Hermosa Says:

    I like it

  20. Wrath Warbone Says:


  21. foxpete88 Says:

    great article..thanks

  22. dwisuka Says:

    @Aroosagloomy: thanks for like it :)
    @Wrath Warbone: thank you very much
    @foxpete88: matur nuwun :)

  23. Joe Ram Says:

    Very interesting.

  24. marqjonz Says:

    Extremely interesting. You explain the customs and their significance well.

  25. CHIPMUNK Says:

    Awesome and unique

  26. yes me Says:

    Once more a rather interesting piece of news cheers

  27. Saurav Banerjee Says:

    There are some similarities with Indian wedding tradition. Great post friend.

  28. Meghana Subramanian Says:

    wow lovely ceremony there :) very elaborate :)

  29. LCM Linda Says:

    Interesting ceremony. Learn new things. Thanks!

  30. dwisuka Says:

    @Joe Ram: thanks
    @marqjonz: thank you very much
    @CHIPMUNK: thanks for reading
    @yes me: thanks for interesting comment
    @Saurav Banerjee: Hindu culture from India has influenced Javanese culture
    @Meghana Subramanian: thanks for your nice comment, Meghana :)
    @LCM Linda: thanks for reading, Linda

  31. juny423 Says:

    Thanks for this educational share…write more :)

  32. dwisuka Says:

    @juni423: thanks for reading, juny

  33. Aroosa Hermosa Says:

    Great share.

  34. SharifaMcFarlane Says:

    I can understand the ‘no divorce’ requirement for the assistants.

  35. dwisuka Says:

    @Aroosagloomy: thanks
    @SharifaMcFarlane: nice, Sharifa

  36. ittech Says:

    nice to know this thanks again

  37. dwisuka Says:

    @ittechil: thanks again too, ittechil :)

  38. Kristie Claar Says:

    good share

  39. Muzammil196 Says:

    Interesting share it is. I did not know it before reading this article. A knew entry to my knowledge! :)

  40. holly the chef Says:

    I like how the angels come down to give the bride more beauty. Great article.

  41. holly the chef Says:

    I found this a nice tradition

  42. dwisuka Says:

    @Kristie Claar: thanks, Kristie
    @Muzammil196: thanks for commenting
    @holly the chef: I like your nice comment, my friend. thanks :)

  43. d1dezire Says:

    Interesting though really complex. There is also something similar in the breaking of the pot here in the culture of the igbo people of Nigeria. Here, once it is broken, it means you are married for life and you can never bring another person as your husband/wife except that person is dead.

  44. ogee77 Says:

    Very interesting! :)

  45. dodolbete Says:

    I’m Javanese too, but never saw it with my very own eyes. Thank you for sharing it ^_^

  46. hansali Says:

    im going to make it for my daugther wedding,thanks

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