Kekeba Ceremony or Nujuh Bulanin: Siraman Ceremony for 7 Months of Pregnancy

Among the Betawi people there is a ritual ceremony to inform about the period of pregnancy. Usually neighbors, relatives, and relatives are told that a woman is pregnant and about to give birth. The name of the ceremony is called Nujuh Bulanin or some call it Kekeba. This ceremony is performed at the age of seven months of pregnancy.

The Nujuh Bulanin ceremony is carried out for the safety of the mother and the child she is carrying. In addition, this ceremony is also a symbol of hope that the children who are going to born will become obedient children to their parents. This ceremony always uses offerings, and one of the most important offerings is the seven kinds of flowers.

This flower means that if the baby born in the future is a boy, he will be able to bring goodness to his parents like the fragrance of a flower, and if the baby is a girl, it will be beautiful like a flower. According to their belief, offerings, especially flowers, must be complete, if the dish is not complete, it is likely that the baby will be born with difficulty or when he grows up, the child will rebel against his parents.

This ceremony is held in the morning, starting at around 09.00 WIB until finished. The series of Kekeba or Nujuh Bulanin ceremony begins with the recitation of the holy verses of the Qur'an, especially the Surah of Yusuf. The reading of the verses of the Qur'an is usually done by women. After recitation of the Qur'an, then the showering or bathing procession for the pregnant woman is carried out.

The sequence of bathing the pregnant mother is usually started by a female shaman, followed by the husband, parents of the pregnant mother, mother-in-law and close relatives up to a total of seven people. After the bathing ceremony, it is carried out the "ngorong" or "ngirag" ceremony. After all the main events were carried out, it was followed by lunch and rujak is distributed to the guest.

This rujak consists of 7 kinds of fruits, namely, pomegranate, young mango, red orange (Balinese orange), Mongkal papaya, yam, kedondong, sweet potato, and rujak seasoning consisting of brown sugar (Javanese sugar), tamarind, cayenne pepper, salt, shrimp paste, and others.

According to them, a ripe and red pomegranate will make the baby to be born very attractive and liked by people. While red grapefruit has its own meaning. Red oranges usually taste sweet and are good for making rujak, and when peeled, the skin peels off easily. This is a symbol of hope that the baby's delivery process will be easy and smooth and will not experience difficulties, as easy as peeling the red orange.

The guests who were present tasted the rujak that was served. If the taste of rujak is very good and pleasing to the heart, they predict that the baby to be born will be a baby girl.

Bujaka - Aplikasi Budaya Jakarta

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