Tradition of Siraman (Bathing) in Javanese Wedding
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)