"Since our motherland is afar, we are unable to pay a visit to our parents' tombs prior to Ramadhan coming. Hence, we offer our prayers from here," a leader of Al Hidayah Gatsu Foundation H. Daldiri remarked while leading the "megengan" tradition at a local mosque here, late Wednesday.
Annually, prior to the onset of Ramadhan, the devout offer prayers to their bereaved parents.
Megengan is a typical Javanese tradition prior to entering the month of Ramadhan.
"According to the tradition being carried down from our ancestors in the land of Java, we pray for our parents and ancestors, who are no longer with us, and offer alms at the same time," Daldiri noted while addressing several hundred worshipers thronging the mosque in "Kampung Jawa," a kampong in Bali having a dominant presence of the Javanese ethnic group.
Prior to start of the "megengan" tradition, worshipers offered boxed meals and the organizer in return handed out a piece of paper where they noted down the names of their ancestors for whom the prayers are directed.
Typically, every worshiper pens down three to five names.
After the paper bearing the names is taken back, organizers thereafter circulate it among the worshipers, who then read them out aloud alternately, prior to an imam leading the recitation of Surah Yasin and other verses from the Al-Quran.
The "megengan" tradition concludes with meals being handed out to all worshipers partaking in the event.